The vision that General Motors has had for an all-electric future is drawing into decidedly clearer focus today and gaining momentum with the announcement by the auto maker today of a $2.2-billion investment supporting 2,200 good-paying manufacturing jobs at their Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant. It’s a plan that could well reverberate through tool & die shops and mold makers across Michigan’s Great Southwest as well.
It will mark the first assembly facility devoted 100-percent to electric vehicles including the first all-electric truck.
The Detroit- Hamtramck assembly plant will be designed to produce a variety of all-electric trucks and SUVs, with GM’s first all-electric truck slated to be a pickup with production scheduled to begin in late 2021. That will be followed soon after by the Cruise Origin, a shared, electric, self-driving vehicle unveiled by Cruise in San Francisco last week. Detroit-Hamtramck will be GM’s first fully-dedicated electric vehicle assembly plant.
Mark Reuss, President of GM was joined by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today for the announcement saying, “Through this investment, GM is taking a big step forward in making our vision of an all-electric future a reality,” and adding, “Our electric pickup will be the first of multiple electric truck variants we will build at Detroit-Hamtramck over the next few years.”
When the plant is fully operational, this investment will create more than 2,200 good-paying U.S. manufacturing jobs.
GM will also invest an additional $800 million in supplier tooling and other projects related to the launch of the new electric trucks.
Since the fall of 2018, GM has committed to invest more than $2.5 billion in Michigan to bring electric vehicles to market through investments at Orion assembly, GM battery lab in Warren, Brownstown and today’s announced direct investment in Detroit-Hamtramck.
The plant’s paint and body shops and general assembly area will receive comprehensive upgrades, including new machines, conveyors, controls and tooling.
GM’s joint venture with LG Chem – which is investing $2.3 billion to manufacture battery cells in Lordstown, Ohio – will supply battery cells for the electric vehicles manufactured at Detroit-Hamtramck.
A key driver behind GM’s decision to make the commitment to Detroit-Hamtramck was the support the project received from the state of Michigan.
Reuss says, “The support from the state of Michigan was a key element in making this investment possible,” noting, “This investment helps ensure that Michigan will remain at the epicenter of the global automotive industry as we continue our journey to an electrified future.”
Detroit-Hamtramck currently operates on one shift of production and builds the Cadillac CT6 and the Chevrolet Impala. Approximately 900 people are employed at the plant. As previously confirmed, the plant will be idled for several months beginning at the end of February as the renovations begin.
The plant has built more than 4 million vehicles since opening in 1985. Hourly employees at Detroit-Hamtramck are represented by UAW Local 22.
Gov. Whitmer said this morning, “Today’s announcement builds on a new chapter in Michigan’s automotive manufacturing heritage, proving once again that the vehicles of the future will be built, tested and deployed here in our state.” The Governor adds, “We are proud to be here today, supporting GM in bringing 2,200 good-paying manufacturing jobs for our auto workers and getting Hamtramck back online, helping to bring their vision of an all-electric future to life.”
Michigan Economic Development Corporation CEO Jeff Mason says the company’s decision to expand in Michigan will have a far-reaching impact on the entire state. Estimates from the Center for Automotive Research show every job in an automotive assembly plant has a multiplier of eight jobs throughout the supply chain.
Mason says, “We are proud to be able to support this investment in our state and further solidify Michigan’s position as the undisputed leader of automotive manufacturing and innovation. This announcement builds on the major investments made in Michigan’s automotive and mobility strengths over the past year.”
The announcement at GM’s Detroit Hamtramck facility starts the new year strong for Michigan’s automotive industry, and follows a series of major auto announcements in Southeast Michigan in 2019 creating thousands of manufacturing jobs in Michigan.