GM's Detroit plant going all-electric starting late next year

Darnell Taylor
January 27, 2020

A fully electric truck will be the first vehicle built at the plant with the goal to build the truck in late 2021.

Output of electric Cruise Origin driverless vehicles will follow soon after the initial pickups roll off the line, GM said in a statement.

General Motors (GM) will invest $2.2 billion to produce electric and self-driving cars at its Detroit-Hamtramck plant in MI, the company announced Monday.

The company said the investment will create more than 2,200 "good-paying US manufacturing jobs". It's likely this includes the revived Hummer EV, a model that's been rumored to campaign under the GMC banner rather than blossom into a full-fledged standalone brand.

In November of 2018 GM announced plans to close the factory along with three others in the U.S. But the company promised to reopen Detroit-Hamtramck to build electric vehicles during last fall's contentious contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers union. Among the upgrades planned are new machinery, conveyors and controls.

The plant was previously the home of the discontinued Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid and now produces the Cadillac CT6 and Chevrolet Impala, which will bill both end production in February. The Origin is an autonomous people-carrier intended for ride-sharing fleets; it'll be built on a new GM electric platform and won't even feature a steering wheel. As previously confirmed, the plant will be idled for several months beginning at the end of February as the renovations begin.

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"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", Whitmer said.

The announcement comes more than a year after the company announced it would shutter the plant as part of restructuring.

Above: Former Holden CEO Mark Reuss announcing the changes for the Detroit-Hamtramck factory.

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.

For the 800 union members working at Detroit-Hamtramck, the investment is a sigh of relief, said Mike Plater, chairman of UAW Local 22, which represents employees at the plant.

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