GM plans to make new electric vehicle, spend $300M, hire 400 workers

Daniel Fowler
March 25, 2019

The company said Friday it will spend $300 million in Orion Township to build a Chevrolet vehicle based on the battery-powered Bolt.

GM said it plans to add about 400 workers at the Orion factory, which now builds the electric Chevrolet Bolt, autonomous vehicles for GM's Cruise unit and the Chevy Sonic compact auto. So, Ohio is very important to us, so are the workers and we want to make sure they stay part of the GM family. "GM will continue to invest in our United States operations where we see opportunities for growth", Barra said.

The moves may help assuage Trump, who's attacked GM over its decisions announced in November to idle an OH plant and four other underutilised factories in the United States and Canada.

"We are excited to bring these jobs and this investment to the U.S.", GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said during the announcement at the plant with employees, elected officials and community leaders.

General Motors has responded to a call from President Donald Trump to sell or "open" the Assembly Plant in Lordstown.

Reuters reported on Thursday about GM's investment plans for the plant.

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Barra continued to defend GM's USA investments during the meeting and UAW reminded her that they would continue to hold them accountable at the Orion factory.

GM spokesman Dan Flores would not answer questions about Trump but said the investment has been in the works for weeks. "And we've made it clear that we disagree with that", UAW Vice President Terry Dittes said. The facility is now also used to convert Bolts into autonomous cars for GM's Cruse division and produce Chevy Sonic subcompacts'.

GM originally meant to produce the new electric vehicle outside the United States.

"The Lordstown plant was specifically created to build small cars, so it makes it very hard to put in another product", she said. GM did not disclose the name of the new EV or the timing of production.

The production of GM's new electric vehicle had been scheduled to be outsourced outside of the United States. Additional facilities receiving investments will be announced later. He said GM could have kept the workers in the factory if the union lowered its dues.

"But we've gotta make sure it's gonna be a sustainable business because the worst thing would be to do something that isn't a sustainable business and then people find themselves in a hard decision all over again". As part of a broader restructuring that's also affecting salaried employees, the company is cutting or displacing upwards of 14,000 jobs.

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