The lion’s share of GM’s $7 billion investment will go toward EVs.
Two major projects headline the automaker’s announcement, including an all-new Michigan battery plant and significant investment into the existing Orion Township assembly plant. The Orion factory will expand production of the upcoming Chevrolet Silverado EV and its GMC Sierra EV sibling, in addition to the Factory ZERO facility in Detroit.
“These investments are the latest step toward accelerating GM’s drive to become the EV market leader in North America by 2025,” the company said CEO Mary Barra. “We are building on the positive consumer response and reservations for our recent EV launches and debuts, including [the] GMC Hummer EV, Cadillac Lyriq, Chevrolet Equinox EV and Chevrolet Silverado EV.”
General Motors says this investment is the single largest in its history, creating some 4,000 jobs and retaining 1,000 current jobs at the Orion plant — which currently builds the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV — when the upgraded plant is fully operational. According to GM-published figures as of June 2021, those 1,000 retainees would represent nearly all employees working at the Orion facility, which employs approximately 1,181 people. However, GM did not specify what would happen to the Bolt EV/EUV once it brought Silverado EV/Sierra EV production online.
A new battery plant
The second large portion of that investment is construction on a new $2.6 billion plant in Lansing. The joint venture with GM Energy Solution will create 1,700 new jobs, the company says, once the plant is fully operational in late 2024. It will be the third plant building Ultium battery packs, with the other two currently under construction in Ohio and Tennessee, respectively.
GM also aims to transition three other existing plants toward building EVs. The Spring Hill, Tennessee factory is one of them, and will build the Cadillac Lyriq — a model that’s currently in pre-production. Another is the Ingersoll, Ontario plant, while the third is the assembly facility in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico. By the time upgrades are complete, the automaker says it will have capacity to build 1 million electric vehicles in North America annually.
By 2030, the company estimates it will convert half its total North American capacity to EV production. In addition to its battery and EV assembly, GM is working with several suppliers to build out a scalable supply chain to support its electrification efforts.
$510 million for other factory updates
While the bulk of GM’s investment is toward EVs, it is upgrading two other Michigan plants as well. $510 million will go toward two Michigan plants: Lansing Delta Township Assembly and Lansing Grand River Assembly.
The Lansing Delta Township plant, for its part, will produce the next-generation Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave. As for Lansing Grand River, which builds Cadillac’s CT4 and CT5 sedans as well as the Chevrolet Camaro, all GM noted is that the investment is for “plant upgrades”, with no other information on what’s coming in the pipeline.