General Motors has made, what it calls, “the single largest investment announcement in GM history” with more than US$7 billion being dedicated to four of its manufacturing sites in Michigan, US$6.6b of which will go directly towards EV production.
The sizable investment includes construction of a new Ultium Cells battery cell plant in Lansing, while GM’s existing facility in Orion Township, Michigan, will be overhauled to cover production of the all-electric Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV, both of which will share the same Ultium EV platform.
Alongside increased production capacity, the investment, GM states, safeguards 1,000 jobs and creates up to 4,000 as General Motors looks to become the EV market leader in North America by 2025.
“Today we are taking the next step in our continuous work to establish GM’s EV leadership by making investments in our vertically integrated battery production in the US and our North American EV production capacity,” GM chair and CEO Mary Barra explained in an official statement. “We are building on the positive consumer response and reservations for our recent EV launches and debuts… Our plan creates the broadest EV portfolio of any automaker and further solidifies our path toward US EV leadership by mid-decade.”
Breaking down its investment plan, US$4 billion of the US$7 billion+ total will go towards overhauling GM’s Orion plant for EV production, following similar refurbishments at Factory ZERO in Michigan and Spring Hill in Tennessee. Site work is apparently already underway, with production of the Silverado EV and Sierra EV scheduled to begin in 2024.
The Orion expansion is set to include new body and paint shops, a new general assembly area, and battery pack assembly quarters, and is expected to create 2,350 new jobs. Production of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV crossover will continue as normal during the plant’s conversion.
The Lansing facility meanwhile will receive US$2.6 billion of the US$7 billion+ total, funded collectively by GM and LG Energy Solution in their recent joint venture to develop Ultium battery cells. Once construction is completed, the new Lansing facility will be GM’s third assembly plant dedicated to battery manufacture, with production also set to begin in 2024.
Finally, US$510 million has been allocated to GM’s Delta Township and Grand River plants in Lansing for continued work on what the company calls “near-term products”, which includes the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave.
Following this investment, GM anticipates that total full-size electric truck production capacity across all EV sites will increase to 600,000, while electric vehicle production capacity as a whole will rise to one million by the end of 2025. The official release also states that 50 per cent of GM’s North American assembly could be converted to EV production by 2030.