A day after President Biden extolled the need for U.S. workers to build a zero-emissions future, GM Mexico said the company is investing $1 billion in a Mexican plant.
Detroit — A day after President Joe Biden extolled the need for American workers to build a zero-emissions future, General Motors Mexico said the company is investing $1 billion to transition its Ramos Arizpe assembly plant to build electric vehicles there by 2023.
"So folks, there’s no reason why Americans — American workers can’t lead the world in the production of electric vehicles and batteries," Biden told Congress in a primetime address Wednesday. "We have the capacity. They’re best-trained people in the world. And all the investments in the American Jobs Plan will be guided by one principle: Buy American. Buy American."
GM's Spanish-language statement appeared only on GM Mexico's media site. It did not detail which electric models would be built at the plant, but it did say the assembly plant would continue producing the Chevrolet Equinox and Chevrolet Blazer, engines and transmissions. The vehicles currently built at Ramos are shipped globally, including to the United States.
Ramos would be GM's fifth EV plant in North America. GM has designated three U.S. plants to build EVs: Orion Assembly in Lake Orion, Factory Zero Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center and the Spring Hill assembly plant in Tennessee. Outside of the U.S., GM said it will invest $800 million at its CAMI manufacturing plant in Ontario for the production of a commercial electric van.
The automaker is investing billions to transition internal combustion engine-producing plants to make EVs as it aims to reach a self-imposed "aspiration" of selling only zero-emissions vehicles by 2035 — commitments that have drawn the attention of investors looking for winners in an electrified auto industry.
In a statement responding to the Mexico investment, United Auto Workers Vice President Terry Dittes, head of the union's GM Department, said: "At a time when General Motors is asking for a significant investment by the U.S. government in subsidizing electric vehicles, this is a slap in the face for not only UAW members and their families but also for U.S. taxpayers and the American workforce.
"General Motors automobiles made in Mexico are sold in the United States and should be made right here, employing American workers," he added. "That is why our nation is investing in these companies. Taxpayer money should not go to companies that utilize labor outside the U.S. while benefiting from American government subsidies. This is not the America any of us signed on for. Frankly, it is unseemly.”