General Motors is turning its Detroit-Hamtramck production facility into a dedicated electric vehicle plant. As the US carmaker now officially announces, it plans to invest $2.2 billion in the plant to produce a range of electrified models there.
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Starting at the end of 2021, an electric pickup truck will first roll off the assembly line in Detroit, followed shortly afterwards by the recently presented autonomous electric shuttle Cruise Origin. The plant is intended to build “a variety of all-electric pickup trucks and SUVs”. GM did not confirm recent rumours of an electrified Hummer brand, either in the announcement or during a press conference in Detroit. It is still possible General Motors will announce this during the Super Bowl in early February.
Initially, the Hamtramck plant, which opened in 1985, was to be closed, and the Cadillac CT6 and Chevrolet Impala sedans, which have since been only moderately successful, will be built there until February. The conversion to the purely electrical plant is to take 12 to 18 months. Among other things, GM will equip the assembly, bodywork and painting areas with new robots, conveyor belts and tools. Besides, the plant is to receive a new control system. The carmaker claims the production of electric vehicles will create 2,200 jobs.
“Through this investment, GM is taking a big step forward in making our vision of an all-electric future a reality,” said GM President Mark Reuss. However, GM also states in the announcement that Michigan’s support was “key driver in keeping the Detroit-Hamtramck plant going”. The conversion of Hamtramck into a pure electric car plant has consequences not only for Michigan, however, but also for the neighbouring US state of Ohio. There, GM wants to build its own battery cell factory together with LG Chem for 2.3 billion dollars.
In addition to GM, Ford has also announced fully electric pickups with an electric version of the F-150 and Tesla with the Cybertruck. “I don’t know if we’ll be the first on the market or not, but I’m confident that we’ll certainly be the best on the market,” Reuss said. General Motors also wants to become faster and more agile with the electric program. “Our electric vehicle program is unmatched in the industry for its combination of advanced technology, flexibility, speed and scalability,” according to Reuss.