April 14, 2024

After halting sales of the electric Chevrolet Blazer for 11 weeks, General Motors said Friday that it would put the SUV back on the market at a lower price. GM is lowering the prices of its Blazer EV models by about $6,000 each. When combined with the U.S. government’s $7,500 tax credit applicable to certain EVs, that brings the final cost of each model under $50,000.

The Detroit automaker did not announce the standard trim Blazer LT FWD’s price, but said it would start at less than $50,000.

GM was forced to stop selling the electric vehicle in December after a slew of consumer complaints and media reports questioned the reliability of the Blazer, which first went on sale in August. The auto review website Edmunds found 23 distinct issues with the test car it purchased within two months of owning it. Another reviewer was left stranded after their test model broke down just 28 hours after they received it.

The issues, mainly problems with the Blazer’s touch-screen interface and ability to charge its battery, were resolved with a software update, according to GM.

“We are excited to have the Chevrolet Blazer EV available again, this time with a compelling price, enhanced features and functionality, and qualifying for the full consumer tax credit,” Scott Bell, who was appointed as the vice president of Global Chevrolet last September, said in a statement.

Baris Cetinok, GM’s vice president of product, software, and services, told CNBC that many issues were “rare but disruptive,” and that GM used the ordeal to improve its software quality testing for future vehicles. Last month, the automaker issued a stop-sale for all 2024 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize trucks to apply the software update before they reached dealerships.

GM has lowered expectations for EV production as sales have slowed, and instead, it has renewed its focus on hybrid vehicles. CEO Mary Barra said GM plans to sell between 200,000 to 300,000 EVs in North America this year but would “build to demand.”

“[Deploying plug-in technology in strategic segments will deliver some of the environment or environmental benefits of EVs as the nation continues to build this charging infrastructure,” Barra said during the automaker’s quarterly and 2023 earnings call.

Hybrid vehicles have been a major selling point for automakers in recent months. Ford Motor Co. saw hybrid sales jump 32% year-over-year in February, while EV-skeptical Toyota Motor sold 2.7 million hybrids last year, which accounted for nearly 35% of total sales.

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