$2.2 Billion in Funding, Autonomous Car Bound for GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck Plant

With just days left before the last Cadillac CT6 and Chevrolet Impala sedans roll off the assembly line at General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck plant, the automaker has put up funding for the facility’s future.

For the once-endangered plant, it will be a future free of gas-powered cars and trucks. Instead, the sprawling facility will be home to a range of electric SUVs and trucks, one of them bearing the Hummer name, and a rolling box with no driver.

GM announced the cash dump in Detroit on Monday morning, offering the not-unexpected news that the Origin autonomous vehicle revealed last week will call Detroit-Hamtramck home. Crafted by GM’s Cruise self-driving arm, with help from Honda, the Origin is the automaker’s first ground-up autonomous vehicle. The conversion of Detroit-Hamtramck into an EV-only plant makes its inclusion in the product roster almost a given.

Perhaps much more interesting to human consumers is the electric pickup bound for the facility in late 2021. While GM hasn’t revealed details of the Ford F-150 EV fighter’s specs or even name, media reports earlier this month claim the pickup will carry the GMC badge and the Hummer name. Supposedly, we’ll see — or at least hear — more about this vehicle during next Sunday’s Super Bowl.

It’s possible the Hummer name won’t exist solely on a single vehicle.

“Through this investment, GM is taking a big step forward in making our vision of an all-electric future a reality,” said GM President Mark Reuss, flanked by elected bigwigs. “Our electric pickup will be the first of multiple electric truck variants we will build at Detroit-Hamtramck over the next few years.”

Built on the grave of an old Dodge plant in the early 1980s, Detroit-Hamtramck pumped out a range of ritzy GM products over the years, including the Olds Toronado and Cadillac Eldorado, before its ranks started to thin. The automaker culled two models, the Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Volt, in 2019, ahead of a plant closure pegged for the end of the year. After the CT6 and Impala earned a brief reprieve, the plant’s future was resurrected in the UAW labor contract reached last fall.

Retooling begins after the final two models move out in February.

“The plant’s paint and body shops and general assembly area will receive comprehensive upgrades, including new machines, conveyors, controls and tooling,” the automaker said in a statement.

When it reopens, battery packs bound for Detroit-Hamtramck-built vehicles will originate from a joint GM-LG Chem facility in Lordstown, Ohio. That plan, announced in December, is greased with $2.3 billion in funding.

first published by TTAC

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