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GM Idling Hummer EV Plant To Prepare For Production Expansion
The four-week pause will be used to retool Factory Zero for new products, including Chevrolet Silverado EV and GMC Sierra Denali EV.
InsideEVs
June 22, 2022
Dan Mihalascu

General Motors' flagship electric truck plant in Detroit will idle for four weeks starting June 27 to prepare for a production expansion.

The downtime of the Factory Zero electric truck plant, which currently builds the GMC Hummer EV pickup, was confirmed to Automotive News by GM spokesman Dan Flores. He said that GM scheduled downtime at the plant to add production capacity sooner than planned, as the automaker plans to install tooling, machinery and equipment while workers are laid off from June 27 through July 22.

General Motors plans to build the Silverado EV and GMC Sierra Denali electric pickups at Factory Zero, as well as the Cruise Origin ride-hail and delivery van.

Starting this fall, Factory Zero, previously known as Detroit-Hamtramck, will also assemble Ultium battery cells into modules and packs for a variety of future electric vehicles from GM and its partners.
 

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They spent billions to re-tool the plant to make these new EV's; barely completed production of 1,000 Hummer's and they are idling the plant (again) to re-tool?
you realize that the HUMMER EV is the first vehicle of a completely new way of building automobiles for GM corp. They needed to make sure all that Ultium stuff works well together and then roll the stuff out.
I suspect a lot of those Zero factory people are going to find their way into other GM plants to train folks on building this stuff.
Just my guesswork.
 

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Me neither, however, I am now very fascinated by the Austin Champ. A Frumpy British Jeep from the post war years.

Very badly put together. I want one
Conversely the Champ was in fact a very high quality vehicle of advanced design, and unmatched capability in its genre

Featuring a bulletproof Rolls Royce engine, 5 speed gearbox, a unique fully independent suspension system, and capable of being fully immersed!
Perhaps the most handsome vehicle ever used by the British Army, the Champ is popular with collectors thanks to its history, reliability, and rugged looks. Source: Silodrome
A batch of 400 Champs also used in service by the Australian military from 1953 to well into the middle 1960s, which speaks to its quality, reliability and superior capability as ‘the Rolls Royce of 4wds’

An excellent Champ resource:
 

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Could this be a hint that the Silverado EV production date may be moved up?
Yep, the dates were always conservative ones.
 
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you realize that the HUMMER EV is the first vehicle of a completely new way of building automobiles for GM corp. They needed to make sure all that Ultium stuff works well together and then roll the stuff out.
I suspect a lot of those Zero factory people are going to find their way into other GM plants to train folks on building this stuff.
Just my guesswork.
Good points mbukukanyau; I agree there will be lots of "know how transfer" from Factory Zero to other GM facilities.

I think what Ed753 was getting at in post #6 is that GM re-tooled what was then Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly more efficiently in the past compared to the current effort at Factory Zero. For example, between 2011 and 2020, GM re-tooled that plant from assembling G-Body vehicles to the following:
  • two new Delta II - Voltec models (Volt/Ampera and ELR)
  • one new Epsilon II SWB model (Malibu)
  • one new Epsilon II LWB EL model (Impala)
  • one new P2XX model (LaCrosse)
  • one new Omega model (CT6)
 

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Conversely the Champ was in fact a very high quality vehicle of advanced design, and unmatched capability in its genre

Featuring a bulletproof Rolls Royce engine, 5 speed gearbox, a unique fully independent suspension system, and capable of being fully immersed!

A batch of 400 Champs also used in service by the Australian military from 1953 to well into the middle 1960s, which speaks to its quality, reliability and superior capability as ‘the Rolls Royce of 4wds’

An excellent Champ resource:
I probably might have to look down under to get me one.
Then I can ship it to Africa and wear one of those commissioners hats and look colonial


Bag Sleeve Beige Personal protective equipment Shoulder bag

Now I really want one

More specifically, it's the GMC Hummer SUV EV.

Whew, that was a mouthful. (That's what she said)
Don’t tell me you have been hanging out with Whoopi again.
 

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More specifically, it's the GMC Hummer SUV EV.

Whew, that was a mouthful. (That's what she said)
Are you sure it isn't the GMC Hummer EV SUV?

Good points mbukukanyau; I agree there will be lots of "know how transfer" from Factory Zero to other GM facilities.

I think what Ed753 was getting at in post #6 is that GM re-tooled what was then Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly more efficiently in the past compared to the current effort at Factory Zero. For example, between 2011 and 2020, GM re-tooled that plant from assembling G-Body vehicles to the following:
  • two new Delta II - Voltec models (Volt/Ampera and ELR)
  • one new Epsilon II SWB model (Malibu)
  • one new Epsilon II LWB EL model (Impala)
  • one new P2XX model (LaCrosse)
  • one new Omega model (CT6)
Yes, and most-recently.... after making ~1,000 vehicles over the last two years.
 

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That re-tool of a brand new plant sort of indicates a “we need a bigger boat” moment at GM, more than the “proof of concept“ idea floated by others. So I wonder if GM’s initial idea was more of limited volume high dollar EVs that maintained more exclusivity in both perception and volume sold?
Was GM also originally thinking of EV Silverado as a range topper that sold few with expansion later down the track?

Much as Ford was caught by surprise by Lightning orders, it looks like GM now has the confidence to expand production years in front of what the original idea was going to be and in doing so, back up Barra’s commitment to EV future.
 

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That re-tool of a brand new plant sort of indicates a “we need a bigger boat” moment at GM, more than the “proof of concept“ idea floated by others. So I wonder if GM’s initial idea was more of limited volume high dollar EVs that maintained more exclusivity in both perception and volume sold?
Was GM also originally thinking of EV Silverado as a range topper that sold few with expansion later down the track?

Much as Ford was caught by surprise by Lightning orders, it looks like GM now has the confidence to expand production years in front of what the original idea was going to be and in doing so, back up Barra’s commitment to EV future.
Great, So August production will be up to plants 2019 capacity of 230,000? (19,000/month) 🤓
 

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That re-tool of a brand new plant sort of indicates a “we need a bigger boat” moment at GM, more than the “proof of concept“ idea floated by others. So I wonder if GM’s initial idea was more of limited volume high dollar EVs that maintained more exclusivity in both perception and volume sold?
Was GM also originally thinking of EV Silverado as a range topper that sold few with expansion later down the track?

Much as Ford was caught by surprise by Lightning orders, it looks like GM now has the confidence to expand production years in front of what the original idea was going to be and in doing so, back up Barra’s commitment to EV future.
This is not that hard:
  1. GM started selling Ultium-based EVs before the Ultium battery factory was ready.
  2. With limited battery supplies, GM was limited in the number of vehicles that it could sell. It is better to sell the limited number of vehicles at high prices than low prices because this will likely result in profitable sales rather than loss-leader sales.
  3. The major costs of Ultium-Based vehicles are in engineering and development. By selling the limited number of vehicles at profit, GM will likely cover most of its engineering and development costs before it brings its popular-priced EV Ultium offerings to market.
  4. For all of the talk about the Hummer EV and the Cadillac LYRIQ, BrightDrop and the upcoming Silverado Pro EV do not get enough respect. The vehicles target fleets. The fleet operator owners will maintain comprehensive records of each vehicle, which will be shared with GM. These will be massive tests of Ultium on the job in the Real World before it goes into wide distribution. This is the World's largest gamma test on purpose.
  5. And, yes, it is easier to sell a popular-priced vehicle that is based on technology that was introduced on a premium vehicle than to sell a premium vehicle that is based on technology that was introduced on a popular-priced vehicle. Voltec was a revolutionary technology. However, the Voltec-based Cadillac ELR was considered to be a tarted-up Chevy Volt. The Toyota Prius has been the hybrid vehicle for the past 21 years. It has also been a joke in some quarters. Who would advocate a Lexus version of the Volt? The Nissan Leaf has been has been the EV from a legacy auto manufacturer for the past 11 years. Who would avocate an Infiniti version of the Leaf?
Suffice it to say, I am thoroughly impressed with GM's strategy for converting to electric propulsion. Look at the problems that Ford is now dealing with. Ford would be in much better shape if it had the resources to follow GM's strategy.
 

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This is not that hard:
  1. GM started selling Ultium-based EVs before the Ultium battery factory was ready.
  2. With limited battery supplies, GM was limited in the number of vehicles that it could sell. It is better to sell the limited number of vehicles at high prices than low prices because this will likely result in profitable sales rather than loss-leader sales.
  3. The major costs of Ultium-Based vehicles are in engineering and development. By selling the limited number of vehicles at profit, GM will likely cover most of its engineering and development costs before it brings its popular-priced EV Ultium offerings to market.
  4. For all of the talk about the Hummer EV and the Cadillac LYRIQ, BrightDrop and the upcoming Silverado Pro EV do not get enough respect. The vehicles target fleets. The fleet operator owners will maintain comprehensive records of each vehicle, which will be shared with GM. These will be massive tests of Ultium on the job in the Real World before it goes into wide distribution. This is the World's largest gamma test on purpose.
  5. And, yes, it is easier to sell a popular-priced vehicle that is based on technology that was introduced on a premium vehicle than to sell a premium vehicle that is based on technology that was introduced on a popular-priced vehicle. Voltec was a revolutionary technology. However, the Voltec-based Cadillac ELR was considered to be a tarted-up Chevy Volt. The Toyota Prius has been the hybrid vehicle for the past 21 years. It has also been a joke in some quarters. Who would advocate a Lexus version of the Volt? The Nissan Leaf has been has been the EV from a legacy auto manufacturer for the past 11 years. Who would avocate an Infiniti version of the Leaf?
Suffice it to say, I am thoroughly impressed with GM's strategy for converting to electric propulsion. Look at the problems that Ford is now dealing with. Ford would be in much better shape if it had the resources to follow GM's strategy.
The Voltec was a joke, the GM board was so terrified of another EV1 mistake that Lutz changed the design to add a gasoline engine to make sure it was approved by the board. The envisioned $28,000 electric car became a near $40,000 jumped up plug in hybrid that in Lutz’s estimation lost $15,000 per vehicle. So to take some of the pain off Chevrolet, the ELR was commissioned ant a hefty +$60,000 price tag added to dissuade as many sales as possible. The whole thing was contrived to amortise the cost of Voltec’s losses so the fewer they sold, the less losses.

There’s no normal reason for GM to have started sales of Ultium vehicles so Far in front of main production, GM did it to upstage Ford’s Lightning which I’ll admit was an attempt to upstage GM’s electrification plans, the timing of certain Ford announcements made that clearly obvious to those paying attention, that modified ICE F150 was a quick and dirty place holder for a company snoozing while GM toiled.

The important point here is to separate the company line from reality, Ford and GM are telling us one thing while actual production and supply tell us another. I think both companies are pithing a ton of blue sky which may well be true but let’s just keep our feet on the ground until both Production plans start speeding up, there’s still a lot of hoops to jump through before either can be confident of real progress…
 

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I think both companies are pithing a ton of blue sky which may well be true but let’s just keep our feet on the ground until both Production plans start speeding up, there’s still a lot of hoops to jump through before either can be confident of real progress…
+1
Those blue skies are going to turn overcast sooner rather than later.
 
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