GM temporarily shuts Hamtramck plant to upgrade
In the USA, General Motors has shut down production at its Factory Zero electric car factory in Detroit-Hamtramck for four weeks from today to prepare the plant for the production of more models. The aim is not only a wider variety of models but also to increase overall production capacity.
Currently, only the GMC Hummer EV electric-pickup truck is built at the factory, which opened in November 2021. In future, this will also be where the SUV version of the GMC Hummer EV, the electric Chevrolet Silverado and the Cruise Origin electric shuttle will also roll off the assembly lines. The initial conversion from combustion engine production to the Ultium platform e-vehicles has been taking place since the beginning of 2020, with the first production vehicles delivered to customers at the end of 2021.
The work is not only about preparing for the new series, but also about expanding capacity. This is happening earlier than planned because of high demand. At the end of March, GM said it had more than 65,000 reservations for the electric Hummer – if all those reservations turn into firm orders, some customers won’t get their vehicle until 2024.
“GM will expand production capacity at Factory Zero sooner than originally planned by pulling forward the installation of tooling, machinery, and equipment,” a GM spokesperson confirmed to The Detroit Bureau. “These upgrades will also help prepare the plant for future products, including the Chevrolet Silverado EV. GM has notified employees it will be taking downtime to facilitate the related work.”
The spokesperson said production should restart in the week beginning 25 July – but they did not specify how many vehicles could be built each week then. In the annual report for the first quarter, it was stated that GMC had delivered 99 Hummer EVs. No figures are yet available for the second quarter but a significant increase is expected.
It is still not yet clear whether the planned start of deliveries of the Silverado EV will be moved forward with the expanded capacities. At the presentation in January, it was said that the vehicle would be launched in spring 2023 as a 2024 model year.