General Motors has announced that it will invest $449 million to upgrade manufacturing processes at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly and Brownstown Battery Assembly plants.
“These investments will help the next-generation Chevrolet Volt build on its position as the leader in electrified propulsion,” said Gerald Johnson, GM North America Manufacturing Vice President.
The Hamtramck facility (affectionately known as “D-Ham”), which produces the Chevy Volt, Opel Ampera and Cadillac ELR, will receive $384 million for new Body Shop tooling, equipment, and additional plant upgrades.
GM called the new investment “preparation for the next generation of electric vehicles and advanced battery technologies,” but it’s not clear how much of the D-Ham improvements will be devoted to the company’s electrified models. The plant will build the next generation Volt and “two future products,” which Detroit-area suppliers said include new Cadillac and Buick sedans.
$65 million will go to GM’s Brownstown Battery Assembly facility, where GM produces the battery packs for its electrified vehicles, “to support the next generation of lithium-ion battery production.”
The announcement won praise from Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, who said, “This significant investment by GM will harness the power of our state’s world-class universities and research and development capabilities. While challenges remain throughout the auto industry, this announcement shows that it is looking to the future, and the resulting technological advancements will strengthen our economy and benefit our environment.”
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan was also pleased: “This helps to further position Detroit as a leader in the innovative technologies of tomorrow. We anticipate that the upgrading of the Detroit-Hamtramck plant and the production of GM’s next-generation electric vehicles will create well-paying jobs for Detroiters.”