General Motors was expected to announce on Friday afternoon (EST) plans to spend US$300m at the Orion Township plant near Detroit to boost autonomous and electric vehicle output, media reports said.

According to Reuters, the plant builds electric and self-driving vehicles for Chevrolet and Cruise unit and will add a new Chevrolet branded electric compact vehicle.

Reuters sources said GM executives would formally endorse a revised North American free trade deal known as USMCA, the sources said.

GM declined to comment to the news agency.

Reuters also said GM executives were expected to make the case the new EV – originally considered for a Chinese plant – is being built in the United States because of the new trade deal that is still awaiting approval by Congress.

GM recently came under harsh attack from president Donald Trump over its decision to end production at its Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant.

On Thursday, Reuters noted, the company said GM executives would be joined at the Orion plant by United Auto Workers union vice president Terry Dittes and government officials to announce “a major new investment focused on the development of GM future technologies”. GM chief executive Mary Barra was expected to make the formal announcement, which could add hundreds of jobs.

Reuters said the new Chevrolet vehicle is based on the same compact architecture as the Chevrolet Bolt EV and the Cruise AV already assembled in Orion.

The plant is expected to begin building a new generation of electric and self-driving vehicles, using GM’s dedicated BEV3 architecture, but not until 2023, a news agency source said.