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

Andrew Cummings
March 22, 2019

General Motors CEO and chairwoman Mary Barra said Friday morning that the auto company is aligned with President Donald Trump to put American jobs and workers first as it revealed plans to build an all-electric vehicle in MI. Trump called GM CEO Mary Barra on Sunday to urge her to reverse the decision to end production at the OH plant, which is in a crucial state for the 2020 presidential election.

Currently, the Orion Assembly plant builds the Chevrolet Sonic, Chevrolet Bolt EV and Cruise AV test vehicles.

For the 2,800 impacted USA hourly employees at GM's unallocated plants, GM said it has 2,700 openings across its US manufacturing plants.

Enlarge Image The Lake Orion facility also builds the Cruise AV which is an autonomous development vehicle based on the Bolt EV.                  General Motors
Enlarge Image The Lake Orion facility also builds the Cruise AV which is an autonomous development vehicle based on the Bolt EV. General Motors

The largest US automaker has come under heavy criticism from President Donald Trump in recent days over its decision to end production at its Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant earlier this month.

Last month, the company stopped building the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid hatchback, and in January company President Mark Reuss hinted that GM would not develop further hybrid or plug-in models.

"Today's GM commitment of $300 million to build this electric vehicle, with our UAW members, is a good start on GM's investment toward keeping future manufacturing jobs here in America", Dittes said in a statement.

Barra, speaking to reporters after an event at the plant in Orion Township, outside Detroit, with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announcing the investment, said GM is focused on ensuring that all of the hourly workers at Lordstown find new jobs at other plants. More than 1,100 have already transferred, and others are retiring. We'll continue to work with the stakeholders in the community because we want to do the right thing for the community.

The automaker said in total it is investing $1.8 billion in its USA manufacturing operations this year, creating 700 new jobs and supporting 28,000 jobs across six states.

The United Auto Workers has sued GM over the closings, which still must be negotiated with the union.

Trump's latest GM tweet on Monday said GM should: "Close a plant in China or Mexico, where you invested so heavily pre-Trump", and "Bring jobs home!" But there is hardship amongst four of our locations.

Trump, this week, in a series of tweets called on GM to reopen its Lordstown plant very quickly. "And we're going to keep doing that".

"We are excited to bring these jobs and this investment to the USA", said Barra during an announcement at the plant with employees, elected officials and community leaders.

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