GM to invest billions in Michigan plants, converts another plant to EV

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Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly will now be Factory ZERO, serving as the 'launchpad' for GM's multi-brand EV strategy, GM announced the new name on Oct. 16, 2020, at an unveiling at the plant in Detroit. - Kimberly P. Mitchell/Detroit Free Press/TNS

DETROIT — General Motors said Tuesday it is investing $2 billion in six U.S. assembly plants and will be converting its Spring Hill, Tenn., assembly plant to become the company’s third factory to build electric vehicles.

As part of that, GM said it will build the Cadillac Lyriq all-electric SUV at Spring Hill Assembly. GM presently builds the Cadillac XT5, XT6 SUVs and the GMC Acadia SUV at Spring Hill. It also makes a variety of engines used across GM’s lineup.

GM said the plant will continue to make the XT5 and XT6 plus the electric Lyriq, which goes on sale first in China and then in the United States in 2022. The GMC Acadia production moves to Lansing (Mich.) Delta Township Assembly.

Beyond that, GM is also investing in five Michigan plants, including Lansing Delta Township Assembly and Flint Assembly for future SUV and full-size pickup production.

“We are committed to investing in the U.S., 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.”

Widespread investments

GM said the investment in the six U.S. facilities will total more than $2 billion. Here is how it breaks out:

—GM will invest $2 billion in Spring Hill Manufacturing to build fully electric vehicles including the Cadillac Lyriq. Spring Hill’s paint and body shops will undergo expansions and the general assembly will be upgraded with new machines, conveyors, controls and tooling. The renovation begins immediately.

—Production of the next-generation GMC Acadia will move to Lansing Delta Township Assembly, representing an investment of more than $100 million.

—GM will invest $32 million at Flint Assembly for future production of heavy-duty Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups.

—GM will invest $17 million in the Romulus, Michigan propulsion plant to enhance automation and increase capacity of GM’s 10-speed truck transmission, used in full-size pickups and full-sized SUVs.

—GM will invest $3.5 million at Orion Assembly and invest $750,000 at GM’s site in Brownstown Charter Township. Both investments are related to additional production of the Cruise AV test vehicle at Orion Assembly.

GM said it will release the launch timing of any of the vehicles and additional product details later.

Three plants go EV

Cadillac revealed the Lyriq SUV in August and at that time it did not announce which U.S. factory will assemble it.

But as the Free Press first reported, a source familiar with production said it will not be made at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly. GM is retooling Detroit-Hamtramck, which it now calls Factory ZERO, to build several new all-electric vehicles including the GMC Hummer electric pickup.

GM will reveal the Hummer EV Tuesday evening.

In the last 19 months, GM has committed to invest more than $4.5 billion at the three U.S. manufacturing sites.

It is the first of a variety of all-electric trucks and SUVs to be built at Factory ZERO. GM will also built the Cruise Origin, an electric, self-driving vehicle, after it starts production of the Hummer.

When Factory ZERO is fully operational, it will create 2,200 jobs. GM is also investing an additional $800 million in supplier tooling and other projects related to the launch of the new EVs.

In March 2019, GM said it would invest $300 million in Orion Assembly to produce a new Chevrolet electric vehicle, bringing 400 new jobs there. This new Chevrolet EV joins the existing Chevrolet Bolt EV and will be designed and engineered based on an advanced version of the current award-winning Bolt EV architecture.

Cadillac has not yet released the Lyriq’s starting price, but said it will cost, “less than $75,000,” said Steve Carlisle, GM’s president of North America.

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