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GM Gives an Inside Look at Factory ZERO

Factory ZERO Worker
Factory ZERO Worker | Jeffrey Sauger for General Motors

General Motors (GM) announced last week that its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant has been given a new mission and a new name. Previously destined for closure, the factory has since been renamed Factory ZERO and will serve as the launchpad for GM’s multi-brand EV strategy.

Where is Factory ZERO?

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According to CNN, GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant was scheduled to close as part of a massive restructuring plan. Fortunately, however, the assembly plant was saved after negotiations with the United Auto Workers union.

Now, GM is turning its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant into Factory ZERO. Per GM, its $2.2 billion investment in the assembly plant will allow it to build EVs at scale. GM says it also represents the single largest investment in a plant in its history. 

And once it’s fully operational? Factory ZERO will create more than 2,200 U.S. manufacturing jobs.

Here’s what makes this factory so interesting

Factory ZERO under construction
Factory ZERO | Jeffrey Sauger for General Motors

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GM is transforming its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant into Factory ZERO with sustainability in mind. During the plant’s transformation, GM repurposed concrete waste to create temporary roadways. Stormwater was also recycled and reduced discharge costs. It also offset the cost of potable water. GM says stormwater will be used in cooling towers and the plant’s fire suppression system too.

Furthering its mission to put sustainability at the forefront of Factory ZERO is GM’s commitment to sourcing 100% of its U.S. facilities with renewable energy by 2030 and all global facilities by 2040. Factory ZERO, according to GM, will be powered by renewable energy by 2023. 

“This manufacturing plant will be the epitome of GM’s vision by sustainably manufacturing electric and shared autonomous vehicles that can help reduce crashes, emissions and congestion,” said Dane Parker, GM chief sustainability officer.

Animal lovers will be pleased to know that the site also features a 16.5-acre wildlife habitat. The sprawling habitat is currently home to monarch butterflies, foxes, and turkeys.

These cars will be built at Factory ZERO

Zoomed in photo of the grille of a pre-production GMC Hummer EV supertruck
The grille of the GMC Hummer EV | Photo via General Motors

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Once upon a time, GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant manufactured the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid car, along with sedans like the Chevy Malibu and the Chevy Impala. Now that it’s been transformed into Factory ZERO, the plant will manufacture the GMC Hummer EV pickup and the Cruise Origin, a purpose-built electric, self-driving, shared vehicle. Other GM EVs will be built there too. 

“Factory ZERO is the next battleground in the EV race and will be GM’s flagship assembly plant in our journey to an all-electric future,” said Gerald Johnson, GM executive vice president of Global Manufacturing. “The electric trucks and SUVs that will be built here will help transform GM and the automotive industry.”

GM isn’t the only automaker making big moves

Factory ZERO isn’t the only new factory that’s been announced lately. Just last month, Ford announced plans for a new factory at its large Rouge site in Dearborn, Michigan. Ford says the new assembly plant will manufacture the new all-electric F-150 pickups.