EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

April 13, 2014

GM boosts Volt assembly, battery plants

DETROIT — General Motors this week confirmed it plans to invest a total of $449 million in its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant and Brownstown Township, Mich., battery factory to expand its electric-vehicle production and make way for two unidentified new products.

The automaker said it would invest $384 million at Detroit-Hamtramck to ready the factory for the redesigned Chevrolet Volt and two new vehicles.

GM also said it would invest $65 million to expand lithium-ion battery production and next-generation battery manufacturing in Brownstown Township.

A source familiar with the company’s plans told the Detroit Free Press the investment will involve a second production shift and about 1,400 jobs.

“Today’s news will ensure that the next-generation Chevy Volt continues and solidifies that position of leadership,” said Gerald Johnson, GM’s vice president of North America manufacturing. “We want our customers to benefit from our investments in technology and to keep coming back to General Motors for their purchases.”

At the Detroit-Hamtramck plant — which straddles the borders of the two cities — the automaker currently makes the Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Impala, Cadillac ELR and Chevrolet Volt, as well as two foreign versions of these cars. GM has invested more than $1 billion in the plant since its Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said the automaker has not yet asked for any tax incentives to support the plant’s expansion.

“When you see GM putting the investment here in future products, it says they have confidence in the men and women building the cars in Detroit and they have confidence in this community,” Duggan said.

Johnson said the Brownstown investment is targeted “for next-generation lithium-ion battery production as well as other future battery systems.”

The announcement comes as GM is in a competition with Silicon Valley electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors to produce an affordable pure electric car. Both companies have said they plan to deliver such a vehicle within three years.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Merrimack Valley

Eagle-Tribune News Videos
Photos of the Week