General Motors confirmed on Tuesday (20 October) its Spring Hill, Tennessee assembly plant (Saturn’s first factory) would “begin the transition” to become the automaker’s electric vehicle facility, joining Factory ZERO in Detroit and Hamtramck, Michigan, and Orion Assembly in Orion Township, also in Michigan.

The company also confirmed investments in five Michigan plants, including Lansing Delta Township Assembly and Flint Assembly, for future crossover and full size pickup production.

The new Cadillac Lyric will be the first EV produced at Spring Hill. Production of the brand’s XT6 and XT5 will also continue there and the facility soon will build both ICE Cadillac products plus EVs. 

The six US factory investments total around US$2bn, bringing the total amount GM has spent or committed for its US manufacturing sites to over $29bn since 2009.

A $2bn spend at Spring Hill Manufacturing to build EVs will also see paint and body shops undergo major expansion and general assembly will receive comprehensive upgrades including new machines, conveyors, controls and tooling. This renovation work begins immediately.

Production of the next generation GMC Acadia will move to Lansing Delta Township Assembly, at a cost of over $100m in retooling.

$32m will be spent at Flint Assembly for future production of heavy duty Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups which, GM said, “have gained significant market share in the United States and Canada” since their recent full redesign.

$17m will be invested at the Romulus, Michigan propulsion plant to enhance automation and increase capacity for GM’s 10-speed truck transmission used in highly profitable full size pickups, the redesigned Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL plus the Cadillac Escalade large SUV.

$3.5m will be spent at Orion Assembly plus $750,000 will be invested at Brownstown Charter Township, Michigan. Both are related to additional production of the Cruise AV test vehicle at Orion Assembly.

Launch timing and additional product details will be announced later.

“We are committed to investing in the US, our employees and our communities,” said GM chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “These investments underscore the success of our vehicles today, and our vision of an all-electric future.”

In the last 19 months, GM has committed to invest over $4.5 bn at three US sites to prepare for EV-related vehicle production.