New Chevrolet electric vehicle coming, $300M investment in MI plant

Dwayne Harmon
March 23, 2019

General Motors has announced plans to invest $300 million at its Orion Township, Michigan, assembly plant to build a new Chevrolet-badged electric vehicle. The investment and buildout is expected to create 400 new jobs at the Orion plant.

General Motors announced on Friday that it will build a second electric auto for Chevrolet, alongside the Chevy Bolt EV. The company also points out that the new model will be built upon an adaptation of the platform architecture that underpins the Chevy Bolt, which is already built at Orion.

The company says it will spend $300 million at its Orion Assembly Plant to manufacture a Chevrolet vehicle based on the battery-powered Bolt.

General Motors Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra announces a major investment focused on the development of GM future technologies at the GM Orion Assembly Plant in Lake Orion, Michigan, U.S. March 22, 2019.

The bulk of the new jobs will go to a factory in MI where GM plans to add production of another fully electric vehicle.

"When we talk about jobs, investing in the USA workforce in the American worker, that's where General Motors, and I think the president, are very aligned", Barra said.

The production of GM's new electric vehicle had been scheduled to be outsourced outside of the United States.

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It's the latest commitment GM has made in MI.

GM spokesman Dan Flores said the investment has been in the works for weeks. GM said almost 950 workers from Lordstown and Detroit have accepted jobs at the company's other facilities. Another 1,200 of the impacted employees are retirement eligible, which may ease the company-wide transition for them. GM said in last year's announcement that, "In the past four years, GM has refocused capital and resources to support the growth of its crossovers, SUVs and trucks, adding shifts and investing $6.6 billion in United States plants that have created or maintained 17,600 jobs".

The Orion Township plant is slated to begin building a new generation of electric and self-driving vehicles, using GM's dedicated BEV3 architecture, but not until 2023, a third source said.

Last year, Chevrolet announced that it trimming the fat in its organization in a push to streamline prior to accelerating into a future of Zero Emissions, Zero Fatalities, and Zero Congestion.

GM wouldn't say when the workers will start or the vehicle will go on sale.

Whether that future comes to be or not remains to be seen as GM's investments make it clear that the company is a truck company, and an internal combustion truck company at that.

"And that's what allows us to make the announcement today, investing in the future with an all-new electric vehicle".

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