General Motors Co. in Detroit today announced a $2.2 billion investment in its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant to produce all-electric trucks and SUVs. The plant will be the company’s first fully dedicated electric vehicle assembly plant. Renovations are expected to begin at the end of February.
GM’s first all-electric truck will be a pickup with production scheduled to begin in late 2021. It is expected to be followed soon after by the Cruise Origin, a shared, electric, self-driving vehicle unveiled by Cruise in San Francisco last week.
“Through this investment, GM is taking a big step forward in making our vision of an all-electric future a reality,” said Mark Reuss, GM’s president. “Our electric pickup will be the first of multiple electric truck variants we will build at Detroit-Hamtramck over the next few years.”
When fully operational, the updated plant will create more than 2,200 manufacturing jobs. The plant’s paint as well as its body shops and general assembly area will receive comprehensive upgrades including new machines, conveyors, controls, and tooling.
The company also plans to invest $800 million in supplier tooling and other projects related to the launch of the new electric trucks.
Since the fall of the 2018, GM has committed to invest more than $2.5 billion in Michigan to bring electric vehicles to market through investments at its regional facilities, including Orion Assembly in Orion Township, GM Battery Lab in Warren, Brownstown Battery Assembly Plant in Brownstown Township, and today’s announcement.
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.
“The support from the state of Michigan was a key element in making this investment possible,” Reuss said at the press event. “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. About 900 people are employed at the plant, which will be idled for several months during renovations.
The plant has built more than 4 million vehicles since opening in 1985. Its hourly employees are represented by UAW Local 22. Past models produced at the plant include the Chevrolet Volt, Buick Lacrosse, Chevrolet Malibu, numerous Cadillacs, Oldsmobile Toronado, Pontiac Bonneville, and more.
In 2018, the automaker announced it would end production at the Hamtramck plant, which didn’t necessarily mean it would close the facility. Today’s announcement sets the plant up for a long production run, added jobs, and a major stimulus of local economic activity.