GM is moving the engineering team responsible for the mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette to the company’s electric and autonomous vehicle programs to “push the boundaries” on what its future EV battery systems and components can deliver, according to an internal memo.
The memo sent by Doug Parks, GM’s executive vice president of global product development, purchasing and supply chain, announced that the Corvette team would move from the automaker’s global product team to the autonomous and electric vehicles program that is led by Ken Morris. The shift will go into effect September 1, according to the memo. The change was first reported by InsideEVs.
“General Motors is committed to an all-electric future. I’m excited to be putting the team that redefined supercar performance, design and attainability in key roles to help us integrate and execute our EVs to those same high standards,” Morris said in an emailed statement.
In the memo, Parks said the move will “help this already dynamic team further push the boundaries on what our future EV battery systems and components can deliver when it comes to excitement and thrilling performance for our customers. The Corvette team is familiar with delighting customers and critics alike, having launched the mid-engine Corvette to world acclaim and becoming one of the most awarded cars in automotive history.”
The change won’t disrupt the entire Corvette team. Tadge Juechter, will remain executive chief engineer for Global Corvette and will continue to lead the team as new variants hit the market. Corvette’s chief engineer Ed Piatek will now be chief engineer of “future product” and will continue to report to Tadge. Under this new role, Piatek will work across the organization on future EV programs, according to the memo. Josh Holder, who has been Corvette’s program engineering manager, will be promoted to chief engineer for Global Corvette replacing Piatek.
The organizational change follows a series of announcements and investments from GM into electric vehicles and automated vehicle technology. In January, the automaker said it would invest $2.2 billion into its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant to produce all-electric trucks and SUVs, as well as a self-driving vehicle unveiled by its subsidiary Cruise. GM will invest an additional $800 million in supplier tooling and other projects related to the launch of the new electric trucks.
GM will kick off this new program with an all-electric pickup truck that will go into production in late 2021. The Cruise Origin, the electric self-driving shuttle designed for ridesharing, will be the second vehicle to go into production at the Detroit area plant. Last month, GM said it was on track to deliver 20 electric vehicles by 2023, most of which will use the company’s new modular EV architecture, called Ultium.
GM is already building a nearly 3-million-square-foot factory that will mass produce Ultium battery cells and packs, the cornerstone of the company’s strategy to bring those electric vehicles to market in the next three years. The Ultium Cells LLC battery cell manufacturing facility in Lordstown, Ohio is part of a joint venture between GM and LG Chem that was announced in December.