Canadian Manufacturing

GM invests $449M in Michigan electric vehicles facilities

The investment, announced at the Automotive Press Association, is the largest to date at both facilities

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DETROIT—General Motors has announced a US$449-million investment to upgrade manufacturing processes at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly and Brownstown Battery Assembly plants.

The investment will support GM’s next generation of electric vehicles and battery technologies.

“These investments will help the next-generation Chevrolet Volt build on its position as the leader in electrified propulsion,” said Gerald Johnson, vice-president of GM’s North American Manufacturing.

The investment, announced at the Automotive Press Association, is the largest to date at both facilities and includes $384 million at Detroit-Hamtramck for new Body Shop tooling, equipment, and additional plant upgrades to build the next generation Chevrolet Volt and two future products.

GM’s total investment at Detroit-Hamtramck is now more than $1 billion over the last five years.

GM’s $65 million investment at its Brownstown Battery Assembly will support the next generation of lithium-ion battery production and future battery systems.

“While challenges remain throughout the auto industry, this announcement shows that [Michigan] is looking to the future, and the resulting technological advancements will strengthen our economy and benefit our environment,” Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said.

The Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant is the world’s only automotive plant that mass-produces extended-range electric vehicles—namely the Volt, Cadillac ELR and Opel Ampera—for markets in 33 countries.

Detroit-Hamtramck also builds the Chevrolet Malibu and Impala sedans and is home to a 264,000-square-foot photovoltaic solar array that can generate up to 516 kilowatts of electricity, or enough to charge 150 electric vehicles per day.

Brownstown Battery Assembly’s 479,000-square-foot, landfill-free facility south of Detroit produces the lithium-ion battery packs for GM’s extended-range electric vehicles. It started mass production in October 2010 and is the first high-volume manufacturing site in the U.S. operated by a major automaker for automotive lithium-ion battery production. The site received funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding through the U.S. Department of Energy.

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