General Motors Bets $449M on Electric Vehicle Development


General Motors on Tuesday revealed that it will be investing $449 million into new electrification projects and development “for the next generation of electric vehicles and advanced battery technologies” in order to upgrade the manufacturing processes at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly and Brownstown Battery Assembly facilities, the company said.

“Michigan is poised for even greater global leadership in automotive innovation,” Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said in the company’s statement. “This significant investment by GM will harness the power of our state’s unparalleled assets, such as its talent, world-class universities, and research and development capabilities.”

About $384 million in funds will go toward the Detroit-Hamtramck plant for new Body Shop tooling, equipment, and additional plant upgrades to build the next-generation Chevrolet Volt and “two future products.” General Motors has now invested a total of more than $1 billion in Detroit-Hamtramck in the last five years.

The remaining $65 million will be poured into the Brownstown Battery Assembly in order to “support the next generation of lithium-ion battery production and future battery systems,” GM said.

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“General Motors is committed to building award-winning products and developing technologies in America, which helps to grow our economy from a resurgent auto industry,” Gerald Johnson, General Motors’ North America Manufacturing vice president, said in the statement. “These investments will help the next-generation Chevrolet Volt build on its position as the leader in electrified propulsion.”

General Motors already makes the Volt, the Opel Ampera (basically the Volt for different markets), and the Cadillac ELR. The Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant is the only facility that mass-produces extended-range hybrid electric vehicles, GM said. The Malibu and Impala sedans are also built there.

“This is a significant investment by General Motors and it helps to further position Detroit as a leader in the innovative technologies of tomorrow,” Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said. “We anticipate that the upgrading of the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant and the production of GM’s next-generation electric vehicles will create well-paying jobs for Detroiters. As we continue to bring real change to our city, we need partners like GM who are committed to investing in our future.”