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GM Investing $2.2B in 'Vision of All-Electric Future'

Underused Michigan factory is being refurbished
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 28, 2020 12:11 AM CST
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In this Sept. 16, 2019 photo, members of the United Auto Workers Local 22 take to the streets during a national strike following stalled contract talks outside General Motors' Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant.   (Mandi Wright/Detroit Free Press via AP, File)
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(Newser) – General Motors is spending $2.2 billion to refurbish an underused Detroit factory so it can build a series of electric and self-driving vehicles, eventually employing 2,200 people. GM said in a statement Monday that the factory will start building the company's first electric pickup late in 2021, followed by a funky-looking self-driving shuttle for GM's Cruise autonomous vehicle unit, the AP reports. The truck will be the first of several electric vehicles to be built at the plant, which straddles the border between Detroit and the enclave of Hamtramck. The company has plans to revive the Hummer nameplate for one of the vehicles. The factory will be GM’s first assembly plant to be fully dedicated to building electric vehicles. "GM is taking a big step forward in making our vision of an all-electric future a reality," GM President Mark Reuss said in a statement.

In Nov. 2018, GM announced plans to close the factory along with three others in the US. But the company promised to reopen Detroit-Hamtramck to build electric vehicles during last fall's contentious contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers union. At that time the plant employed about 1,500 hourly and salaried workers. Currently the plant is working on one shift with about 900 workers making the Cadillac CT6 and Chevrolet Impala sedans. The factory will be shut down at the end of February, when renovations are expected to begin. The general assembly area as well as the paint and body shops will get major upgrades including new machinery, conveyors, and controls, GM says. GM will also invest $800 million in equipment for parts suppliers and other projects related to the new electric trucks.

(Read more General Motors stories.)

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