GM to spend $2.2 billion for EV-exclusive factory in Detroit

General Motors will invest $2.2 billion to turn its Detroit-Hamtramck facility into an EV-only assembly plant. Once the facility has been refitted, it will begin producing a number of different EVs.

GM Detroit-Hamtramck
GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck facility used to produce the Chevrolet Volt. Photo: John F Martin for General Motors/calypsocom via Flickr

Detroit became famous as the global center of the automotive industry during the first half of the 20th century. Pioneering automotive companies like Ford and many of the General Motors brands were founded in the city, leading to a massive increase in population and wealth.

The city suffered a hard fall from grace as the century progressed and industry declined. But now it looks like General Motors will be making a massive investment to push Detroit car manufacturing in a new, forward-thinking direction.

GM’s shift towards EVs

Until a few years ago, American car brands were synonymous with low fuel-efficiency and high emissions. But, with the arrival of Tesla, other automotive manufacturers have been forced to make reduced emissions a much higher priority.

Today, GM made its commitment to greener transport crystal clear. America’s largest car manufacturer announced it will be converting its Detroit-Hamtramck facility into an EV-only plant.

Chevrolet Bolt
The Chevrolet Bolt is produced at GM’s Orion Assembly. Photo: Mariordo via Wikimedia Commons

With an investment of $2.2 billion, the facility will be converted to produce a variety of electric trucks and SUV’s.

The company has a number of large production facilities across the US, but Detroit-Hamtramck will be the first solely dedicated to electric vehicles. The facility did previously make the Chevrolet Volt, but that model was discontinued last year.

As reported by Engadget, the facility will be closed at the end of February to undergo ‘several months’ of renovations and refitting in order to switch to EV manufacturing.

Which vehicles will be made at the facility?

The Chevrolet Bolt is currently GM’s most popular electric vehicle. It also happens to be the only electric vehicle sold by any of GM’s brands in the US. But the Bolt is already produced at GM’s Orion facility, so there’s no need to switch production to Detroit-Hamtramck.

The Detroit-Hamtramck assembly is an important local employer. Photo: Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy

Instead, the facility will focus on new GM electric vehicles, beginning with GM’s first electric pickup truck, which should start rolling off the production line in late 2021.

Discussing the new electric pickup, General Motors’ President, Mark Reuss, said:

“Through this investment, GM is taking a big step forward in making our vision of an all-electric future a reality. Our electric pickup will be the first of multiple electric truck variants we will build at Detroit-Hamtramck over the next few years.”

Shortly after the electric pickup truck hits the Hamtramck facility production line, the manufacturing process for the Cruise Origin will also begin.

Not only will the Cruise Origin be a fully-electric vehicle, it will also be autonomous, marking yet another important milestone for GM as it attempts to modernise its automotive offering.

Finally, GM says the renovated plant will also create more than 2,200 “good paying” jobs, which is great news for Detroit and the local community which has suffered since the decline of the automotive industry.

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