General Motors plans to start building two battery-electric crossovers for Honda Motor Co. within four years: a Honda-branded vehicle at a GM plant in Mexico and an Acura-branded vehicle alongside the upcoming Cadillac Lyriq in Tennessee, according to two people familiar with the plans.
Production of the Honda crossover is slated to begin in 2023 in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, where GM builds the gasoline-powered Chevrolet Blazer and Equinox, the sources said. Automotive News reported last year that GM likely would retool Ramos Arizpe Assembly for EV production by 2024, but GM has not confirmed the plans.
Production of the Acura crossover is scheduled to begin in 2024 in Spring Hill, Tenn., according to the sources, who asked not to be identified discussing future product plans. The Honda and Acura models are expected to be roughly the size of the Lyriq, which is scheduled to go on sale in early 2022.
Like the Lyriq, the Honda and Acura vehicles will be powered by GM's proprietary Ultium batteries, which have a maximum range of 450 miles. Morgan Stanley predicts that Ultium batteries will be used in more than 5 million EVs annually by 2040, including more than 1 million non-GM vehicles.
A GM spokesman declined to comment on the company's future product plans. A Honda spokesman also declined to comment on the specific plans, saying only that the company "looks forward to sharing new information on our North American electrification strategy later this year."
Last April, GM and Honda announced an agreement to jointly develop two Ultium-powered EVs for Honda at GM plants. The automakers said at the time that sales of the two EVs were expected to begin in the 2024 model year in the U.S. and Canadian markets. They have not disclosed manufacturing locations or specific details about the vehicles.
In September, GM and Honda said they signed a memorandum of understanding to form a North American auto alliance, which could include vehicles with similar underpinnings sold under both brands and collaboration on purchasing, R&D and vehicle platforms.
The deal called for co-development of internal-combustion and electric platforms to begin in early 2021.
Laurence Iliff contributed to this report.