GM announces jobs, electric vehicle after Trump criticism

General Motors

General Motors Co confirmed on March 22 it will invest $300 million in a suburban Detroit assembly plant, adding 400 jobs to its workforce to build a new Chevrolet electric vehicle.

General Motors CEO Mary Barra on the automaker's plans to build an electric vehicle plant at a plant in Orion, Michigan, President Trump's criticisms of the company's decision to close a plant in Lordstown, Ohio and the company's commitment to jobs in America.

In addition to the Chevrolet Bolt EV, the Orion Assembly plant now builds the Chevrolet Sonic and the Cruise AV test vehicles.

Last month, the company stopped building the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid hatchback, and in January company President Mark Reuss hinted that GM would not develop further hybrid or plug-in models.

"There are a significant number of that go to that product".

The Orion Township plant is slated to begin building a new generation of electric and self-driving vehicles, using GM's dedicated BEV3 architecture, but not until 2023, a third source said. The company said the moves are necessary to stay financially healthy as GM faces large capital expenditures to shift to electric and autonomous vehicles. With the closures, GM is canceling multiple vehicle models due to slumping sales, including the Chevrolet Volt plug-in gas-electric hybrid.

The last Chevy Cruze rolled off the Lordstown assembly plant earlier this month with no vehicle to take its place. 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.

Enlarge Image The Lake Orion facility also builds the Cruise AV which is an autonomous development vehicle based on the Bolt EV.                  General Motors
Enlarge Image The Lake Orion facility also builds the Cruise AV which is an autonomous development vehicle based on the Bolt EV. General Motors

"Right now, we're focused on the people of Lordstown, making sure they have opportunities because we do have jobs", Barra told reporters following Friday's announcement.

The United Auto Workers has sued GM over the closings, which still must be negotiated with the union.

During a visit to the Lima Army Tank Plant on Wednesday, President Trump called for the Lordstown GM plant to be sold so workers could be employed there again.

"I will not spoil a great occasion here today".

GM spokesman Dan Flores would not answer questions about Trump but said the investment has been in the works for weeks. But there is hardship amongst four of our locations. GM Chief Executive Mary Barra is expected to make the formal announcement, which could add hundreds of jobs. "And we're going to keep doing that". The state helped push him to victory in 2016, and Trump has focused on Lordstown, seldom mentioning the other USA factories that GM is slated to close.

The company made headlines recently by shuttering its Lordstown, Ohio plant.

Moving production to a US manufacturing plant supports the rules of origin provisions in the proposed United States, Mexico and Canada Agreement.

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