GM Investing $300 Million to Produce New Chevrolet EVs

March 26, 2019 by Scott McMahan

General Motors is investing $300 million in its Orion Township, Michigan, assembly plant to produce a new Chevrolet electric vehicle. The investment includes the addition of 400 new jobs to the Orion plant. Today's announcement is part of GM's new plan to invest a total of $1.8 billion in its United States manufacturing operations, creating 700 new jobs and supporting 28,000 jobs across six states.

Orion Assembly currently builds the Chevrolet Bolt EV (See image above of 2019 model), Chevrolet Sonic and the Cruise AV test vehicles. The new Chevrolet electric vehicle adds to the existing Chevrolet Bolt EV, further advancing GM's plan for an all-electric future. GM will design and engineer the EV based on an advanced version of the Bolt EV architecture. The company intends to release additional product information and scheduling for the new Chevrolet EV closer to production.

The 400 additional jobs are part of the company's plan to create 700 additional jobs. The new Chevrolet EV is in addition to the company's earlier statement that Cadillac will be the first brand to get vehicles off a future EV platform.

"We are excited to bring these jobs and this investment to the U.S.," said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra during an announcement at the plant with employees, elected officials and community leaders. "This new Chevrolet electric vehicle is another positive step toward our commitment to an all-electric future. GM will continue to invest in our U.S. operations where we see opportunities for growth."

New EV Previously Slated for Foreign Production

The new electric vehicle had been slated for production outside of the U.S. The decision to bring it to Orion was based on many factors. The Orion plant currently builds the Bolt EV, and the new Chevrolet EV will be based off an advanced version of the same vehicle architecture. GM says that moving production to a U.S. manufacturing plant also supports the rules of origin provisions in the proposed United States, Mexico, and Canada agreement.

In addition to the job growth at the Orion plant, GM points out that the company has job opportunities at several other U.S. manufacturing plants for virtually all U.S. hourly employees impacted by the recent announcement about unallocated plants. Other GM manufacturing plants adding jobs include Flint, Michigan; Spring Hill, Tennessee; Bowling Green, Kentucky; Arlington, Texas; and Toledo, Ohio.

For the 2,800 impacted U.S. hourly employees at GM's unallocated plants, GM confirmed it has 2,700 openings across its U.S. manufacturing plants. So far, 1,100 employees have been placed at other GM plants, with several hundred more in the process of being placed in new jobs. Also, 1,200 of these employees are retirement eligible.

In Michigan, in addition to the jobs and investment coming to the Orion plant, GM is in the process of adding 1,000 jobs at the Flint Truck Assembly Plant. GM also recently announced new investments at the Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant and Romulus Propulsion Plant and this week revealed the all-new Cadillac CT5 to be produced at the Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant.

New Jobs and Openings Begin to Offset Fall Cutbacks

These new jobs and job openings incrementally offset the more than 10% job cuts announced last fall as well as the idling of five production plants as a result of increased production costs due to tariffs and declining new car sales.

The Orion Assembly plant currently employs about 880 hourly and 130 salaried employees. Including the new investment, GM has invested nearly $1 billion at Orion Assembly since 2009.

The company's new $1.8 billion investment commitment includes the recently announced investments at its facilities in Spring Hill, Tennessee; Lansing Delta Township, Michigan; and Romulus, Michigan. Additional facilities receiving investments will be announced later. GM has invested more than $22 billion in its U.S. manufacturing operations since 2009.