Detroit-Hamtramck will be GMs first fully dedicated electric vehicle assembly plant

Detroit-Hamtramck will be GM's first fully dedicated electric vehicle assembly plant

General Motors has announced a US$2.2bn spend at its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant to produce "a variety of all-electric trucks and SUVs".

The plant once assembled the Volt, a range extender hybrid also offered in other markets with Opel, Vauxhall and Holden branding.

GM said its first all-electric truck would be a pickup with production scheduled to begin in late 2021. This will be about after Rivian launches its own EV truck and SUV line, using underpinnings supplied by investor Ford.

GM's EV truck 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, the automaker said.

"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 president, during a press event at the plant with Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer and other local and state officials.

"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 2,200 "good-paying US manufacturing jobs", GM said.

GM will also spend an additional $800m on supplier tooling and other projects related to the launch of the new electric trucks.

Since autumn 2018, the automaker has committed to invest $2.5bn in Michigan to bring electric vehicles to market through investments at Orion assembly, the battery lab in Warren, Brownstown and this latest announcement of 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 $2.3bn to manufacture battery cells in Lordstown, Ohio – will supply battery cells for the electric vehicles manufactured at Detroit-Hamtramck.

GM said Michigan state support was critical to its commitment to Detroit-Hamtramck. 

"The support from the state of Michigan was a key element in making this investment possible," added Reuss. "This investment helps ensure that Michigan will remain at the epicentre 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 4m vehicles since opening in 1985.

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