Major investments from General Motors, or GM, are helping them stay on trend with the future of the automotive industry — electric vehicles. This future will create jobs as well.
GM announced over $150 million of investments in five Michigan plants for future crossover and full-size pickup production in a statement released on Tuesday, Oct. 20. They also announced a $2 billion plan to transition a Tennessee assembly plant for electric vehicle manufacturing, making that their third site.
Last year, GM made a similar investment into their Detroit and Hamtramck factory, Factory ZERO. When fully operational, GM says it will create over 2,200 jobs. However, GM News Relations Manager Dan Flores said that job growth isn't an objective in their new investments.
Creative advertising student Evan Odar, who is interested in going into the automotive industry and is a member of the MSU Racing Club, thinks that major GM investments into electric vehicles is telling of the future and is glad to see growth in the industry.
"I think that electric vehicles are definitely the next step and auto manufacturers should be doing stuff to make electric vehicles sooner rather than later," Odar said.
The Michigan investments include over $100 million for moving production of the GMC Acadia to Lansing Delta Township Assembly, $32 million in Flint Assembly for production of Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups, and $17 million in the Romulus Propulsion plant to enhance automation and increase capacity of GM’s 10-speed truck transmission. In addition to these investments, $3.5 million will be invested at Orion Assembly and $750,000 at GM’s site in Brownstown Charter Township, both of which are related to additional production of the Cruise AV test vehicle.
In the last 19 months, GM has committed to investing $4.5 billion into preparing their facilities for electronic vehicle production. Factory ZERO in Detroit and Hamtramck came with a price tag of $2.2 billion.
"Fundamentally, we think global warming is a real issue," Flores said. "We're trying to develop technologies and products that will not only serve a customer need, but also benefit the planet we all live on."
According to the Alternative Fuel Data Center, between 2010 and 2019, the number of hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle offerings increased by nearly 400%.
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