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Friday, May 20, 2022

GM to spend $6.5 billion and create 4,000 jobs at Michigan EV plants

LANSING, Michigan — General Motors is poised to announce a major investment in electric vehicles in Michigan next week, with plans to spend $6.5 billion and create up to 4,000 new jobs at two plants.

The state Economic Development Board is expected to approve the stimulus package on Tuesday, according to the meeting’s agenda posted online.

The Associated Press previously reported on the Detroit automaker’s plans to partner in a joint venture to build a $2.5 billion electric vehicle battery plant in the Lansing area, adding up to 1,700 workers. GM also plans to spend $4 billion and create up to 2,300 new jobs by designating the existing plant in Orion Township as its third EV plant, along with plants in Detroit-Hamtramck and Spring Hill, Tennessee.

The choice was a big win for Michigan, which missed out on three Ford Motor Co. battery plants. and a Ford electric vehicle assembly plant to be built in Kentucky and Tennessee.

Michigan legislators and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently launched a new $1 billion fund dedicated to large business projects.

“Ford’s announcement was like a punch in the nose,” Quentin Messer Jr., CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and president and chairman of the Michigan Strategic Fund, said last month. “The Michigans have always responded to every blow with a stronger riposte.”

The Orion Township plant, located about 40 miles north of Detroit, currently produces the Chevrolet Bolt electric hatchback and small SUV, which employs just over 1,100 people. The company said it will soon announce that the existing plant will produce electric pickups. Bolt production has been suspended due to battery recalls.

The battery plant will be built on the site of GM’s Lansing Delta Township assembly plant, where the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse SUVs are built.

“GM appreciates the support it has received from the Governor, the State Legislature, Orion Township, Lansing City and Delta Township on two promising projects that GM is considering in Orion Township and Lansing,” said Dan Flores, spokesman for the company, in a written letter. statement. “Until these projects receive final approval, we have no comment on the possible timing of the announcement,”

Electric vehicles accounted for less than 3 percent of U.S. new car sales last year, but forecasters expect strong growth over the next decade. Consumers have bought about 400,000 all-electric vehicles.

Electric vehicle sales will rise to 763,000 this year and exceed 1.2 million by 2023, consulting firm LMC Automotive estimates. The firm expects electric vehicles to account for almost 44 percent of new vehicle sales by 2033, with almost 7.4 million sold.

David Eggert and Tom Krischer

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