General Motors is reaffirming its investment in electrified vehicles, reaffirming there will be a 2nd Generation Volt (something which wasn’t always a given), hinting at future electrified cars from GM. On Wednesday, the company announced nearly $500 million in investments in new manufacturing equipment and processes to support building the “next generation Chevrolet Volt and two future products.”
The investments are “$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” and $65 million investment at the Brownstown Battery Assembly to “support the next generation of lithium-ion battery production and future battery systems.”
GM’s press release describes the Hamtramck plant as “the world’s only automotive plant that mass-produces extended-range electric vehicles – including the Volt, Cadillac ELR and Opel Ampera – for markets in 33 countries.”
The Brownstone facility received ATVM loans from the Dept. of Energy a few years ago. The new investments apparently do not have any Federal dollars tied to them, otherwise the press release would have mentioned such involvement. Instead it demonstrates one way that government investments pay off, because GM is now of its own accord finding the dollars to fund more electrified vehicle manufacturing infrastructure.
This is how GM’s new investments in vehicle electrification break down. At the Hamtramck plant, GM has invested over $1 billion over the last five years.
Those investments fit into a larger puzzle of investments GM is making in Michigan overall.
And that in turn fits into the total picture of investments GM is making across the U.S. They did not show a picture of this, but GM as a global company has manufacturing facilities around the world, and repeated investments are made to each facility each year.
This is what it takes to run a company with the scope of GM. It gives us an appreciation of what Tesla Motors has in store for them over the next few years in order to truly challenge the ilk of General Motors.
It also demonstrates that changing the automobile industry from gasoline to electric can occur piecemeal, because these companies make manufacturing investments each year. Each manufacturing investment is an opportunity to switch from gasoline to electric, should the company choose to do so.
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