GM announced Friday it will invest $300 million into a Michigan factory to produce a new Chevrolet electric vehicle, reversing a decision to build the EV outside of the United States. The announcement comes on the heels of recent job cuts and plant closures by GM, moves that have complicated bargaining with union workers over a new four-year contract and has sparked intense criticism from President Donald Trump over a decision to end production at a factory in Lordstown, Ohio.
The automaker’s investment into its Orion Township, Mich. assembly plant — the same facility that produces the all-electric Chevy Bolt — will add 400 new jobs. Orion Assembly, which employs about 880 hourly and 130 salaried employees, also produces the Chevrolet Sonic and the Cruise AV test vehicles.
GM isn’t revealing details about what the new electric vehicle will look like, cost or any of its performance metrics. It will be designed and engineered off an advanced version of the Bolt EV architecture, the company said. Additional product information and timing for the new Chevrolet EV will be released closer to production.
This new Chevy EV is a separate effort within the company’s newly announced plans to turn Cadillac into an electric brand. Cadillac will be the first brand to get vehicles off a future EV platform, GM said.
GM says its decision to produce the EV in the U.S. was driven by rules of origin provisions in the proposed United States, Mexico and Canada Agreement and because the new EV will be based off an advanced version of the Bolt’s architecture, which is made at Orion.
The announcement comes as GM makes adjustments to where it allocates resources in an effort to cut costs in certain areas and shift funds toward other programs.
GM has been undergoing a transformation over the past four to five years, getting rid of expensive, money-losing programs like the Opel brand in Europe, and investing more into electrification and autonomous vehicle technology. It has also warned repeatedly of a coming downturn in the traditional automotive business.
In November, GM ramped up its belt-tightening measures with cuts to thousands of factory and white-collar workers, plant closures in North America and the elimination of several car models as it tries to transform into a nimble company focused on high-margin SUVs, crossovers and trucks, and investments in future products like electric and autonomous vehicles.
In addition to layoffs, GM’s unallocated plants have impacted some 2,800 U.S. hourly employees. GM emphasized Friday that the company has job openings at several other U.S. manufacturing plants for U.S. hourly employees impacted by the recent announcement of unallocated plants. Other GM manufacturing plants adding jobs include Flint, Mich.; Spring Hill, Tenn.; Bowling Green, Ky.; Arlington, Texas; and Toledo, Ohio.
GM confirmed it has 2,700 openings across its U.S. manufacturing plants. To date, 1,100 employees have been placed at other GM plants, with several hundred more in the process of being placed in new jobs. In addition, 1,200 of these employees are retirement-eligible.
The automaker also plans to add 1,000 jobs at the Flint Truck Assembly Plant.