General Motors (GM) has officially absorbed BrightDrop, its wholly-owned electric commercial vehicle subsidiary established in January 2021. Originating from GM's Innovation Lab, BrightDrop has functioned as a quasi-independent tech startup within GM for the past three years. However, effective November 16, the integration process is set to be “even tighter” as BrightDrop becomes an integral part of the parent company.
In a press release, GM stated, “Starting today, BrightDrop will become part of GM. We believe that this move will benefit our fleet customers by providing them with an efficient single point of contact through GM Envolve,” referring to a business unit established in May that encompasses products, technologies, and services tailored for fleet customers.
GM anticipates that this reorganization of its electric commercial vehicle unit will contribute to cost reduction, as reported by Reuters. The company confirmed that BrightDrop's CEO, Travis Katz, is set to depart at an unspecified date, without providing additional details about the departure.
Highlighting the evolution of BrightDrop, GM stated, “As BrightDrop has matured, we are now bringing that ethos back to GM so our work is more efficient and so BrightDrop's startup spirit can help fuel further success with GM's commercial customers.”
GM emphasized that the manufacturing landscape would see minimal changes, reaffirming the commitment to scaling BrightDrop Zevo production. While production of the BrightDrop Zevo 400 and Zevo 600 is currently on pause, GM expects to resume operations in spring 2024. This timeline aligns with the opening of CAMI's new battery-module plant in Canada, intended to support the production of electric vehicles (EVs) and supplement EV production at other GM plants.
“This new battery-module line will have capacity to fully support Zevo production at CAMI and supplement EV production at other GM plants,” GM stated, outlining its strategic approach to sustain and enhance the production of electric commercial vehicles under the BrightDrop brand.