General Motors Corp has selected Lear Corporation (NYSE: LEA) to produce the battery disconnect unit (BDU) on all full-size SUVs and trucks built on the automaker’s Ultium EV platform through 2030. Lear Corporation is a global leader in seating and e-systems, with over 160,000 employees and 257 facilities in 38 countries.
With a modest investment of $80 million, Lear is working with state and local officials on a plan to open a new manufacturing facility in Michigan. The new site will manufacture BDUs for GM and other electrification components with an annual return of $500 million in electrification sales when it reaches full production.
The new award by GM to produce the BDUs will expand Lear’s existing business with GM and represents the single largest electrification platform win for Lear’s e-systems division. Lear has a proven track record of reliable program launches and on-time, high-quality delivery of fast-to-market system solutions for electric vehicles.
“Lear is developing innovative technologies that are driving the widespread adoption of electric vehicles,” said Ray Scott, Lear President and CEO. “This additional new business with GM was made possible by Lear’s recognized value proposition in electrification that combines flexible manufacturing operations and advanced Industry 4.0 automation technologies with our vertically integrated capabilities.”
The BDU is the primary interface between a vehicle’s battery pack and electrical system. The Automotive News PACE Award-winning Lear BDU offers industry-leading thermal management innovations that enable electric vehicles to charge faster and drive farther.
The BDU application created by Lear delivers the higher performance requirements needed to power larger electric vehicles like GM’s SUVs and light-duty trucks, which are most of GM’s new vehicle sales. Lear’s technology and expertise will help support GM’s electrification efforts in North America.
“With our unique electrification solutions and long-standing collaborative relationship with GM, Lear is excited for the opportunity to provide technologies that will help enable a zero-emission future,” Scott added. “As a Michigan-headquartered company, it is important to make this investment in our backyard. This facility will provide hundreds of highly skilled jobs to the state and will be our largest investment in an electrification-focused production site to date.”
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