General Motors Co. in Detroit announced plans to invest more than $51 million to install state-of-the-art equipment at its Bedford, Ind., aluminum die casting foundry to support the manufacturing of drive unit castings for the upcoming Chevrolet Silverado EV and other current casting operations.
The renovation work will begin immediately. Earlier this year, the 1 million-square-foot site began producing electric drive unit castings for the 2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup and the 2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV. Production of the Hummer EV Pickup begins this month at Factory ZERO in Detroit.
“Our Bedford operation is one of the leading aluminum die casting facilities in the world and this investment is a testament of our confidence in the employees at Bedford,” says Phil Kienle, vice president of manufacturing and labor relations for GM North America. “This investment is another example of the company bringing along our workforce in our journey to an all-electric future while we strengthen our current products.”
The Bedford Plant opened in 1942 and today employs nearly 900 hourly and salaried workers that produce drive units, structural components, transmission cases, cylinder blocks, and cylinder heads used in Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles.
The all-electric Silverado, powered by the Ultium Platform, will debut on Jan. 5, 2022 at CES 2022.
In related news: GM-owned BrightDrop announced the opening of its first dealership, BrightDrop Greater Los Angeles in Fontana, Calif., marking another step toward commercialization of the company’s electric light commercial electric vehicle (eLCVs) for fleet integration.
“BrightDrop aims to be a one-stop shop for our customers,” says Travis Katz, president and CEO of BrightDrop. “End to end, we are providing solutions for nearly every aspect of the delivery journey and establishing our first dealership is a major piece of that puzzle. BrightDrop dealers will support fleet operators in their electrification journey, providing electric vehicle expertise and service.”
The dealership will be operated by Mike Caposio, an experienced commercial fleet dealer who also operates Caposio Buick GMC and Rotolo Chevrolet, the largest Chevy dealership in California.
“We are honored to be selected as BrightDrop’s first-ever dealership,” says Caposio. “They have a world-class electric delivery van portfolio and share my focus on serving the fleet customer. I believe the era of all-electric fleets is here and I am committed to helping modernize America’s delivery fleets.”
BrightDrop’s all-electric ecosystem of products, software, and services is designed to optimize productivity, drive down costs, and cut emissions and road congestion. The dealership, as with all upcoming dealerships, will be equipped to support fleet customers with ordering, upfitting, and maintaining the eLCVs.
“Mike’s forward-thinking focus on serving the fleet customer is a perfect fit with BrightDrop’s mission to help fleet operators seamlessly transition to an all-electric future,” says Scott Young, vice president of vehicle distribution for BrightDrop.