GM to invest up to $7B in Michigan for electric vehicle manufacturing

Biden says move is sign of ‘historic American manufacturing comeback’

By: - January 25, 2022 3:00 pm

General Motors headquarters, Detroit | Susan J. Demas

For its largest single investment yet, General Motors announced Tuesday that the Detroit-based automobile manufacturer will be putting between $6 and $7 billion toward creating 4,000 new jobs at electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing sites in Michigan.

The projects are the first to be approved under a new bipartisan business incentive program that Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed into law in December. The bill package focuses on attracting jobs from companies like GM and ensuring Michigan’s economy is more adaptable to rapid technological change.

The investment was greenlit Tuesday by the Michigan Strategic Fund board via an incentive program with the state. Partnering on the project with GM is South Korea-based battery-maker LG Energy Solution, which will also receive tax incentives.

According to GM, about $4 billion will be used to add more manufacturing space to its Orion Township plant over the next several years so the plant can assemble full-size EV pickups. That location is currently equipped to assemble the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

GM also plans to spend $500 million on the existing Delta Township Plant and Grand River Assembly Plant in Lansing.

GM and LG will then put $1.5 billion to $2.5 billion toward constructing a proprietary Ultium battery manufacturing plant next to GM’s Delta Township Assembly Plant. That new plant will be the third in the country.

Approximately 4,000 new jobs will be created through the projects, including 2,300 at Orion Assembly and 1,700 in Delta Township.

The news garnered widespread praise, including from President Joe Biden, who said the investment is “the latest sign that my economic strategy is helping power an historic American manufacturing comeback.”

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on his American Jobs Plan and the Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck at the Ford Motor Co. Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, where the truck will be produced, on Tuesday, May 18. (Andrew Roth | Michigan Advance)

“This announcement is just the latest in over $100 billion of investment this past year in American auto manufacturing to build electric vehicles and batteries,” Biden said. He said the action ties into his executive order aimed at getting to 50% EV sales share by 2040 and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which invests in EV charging.

“Congress can catalyze more with additional incentives for Made in America electric vehicles, batteries, and semi-conductors built by union hands,” Biden added.

Ahead of GM’s own statement, Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) Tuesday to announce that and other projects approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund.

“This is a historic day for our state as we secure the largest investment in GM’s history right here in Michigan, create generational opportunities for our workforce, and work together to put Michiganders first,” Whitmer said. 

“Today’s MSF approvals will help us continue to invest in Michigan’s economy by expanding on our leadership in the future of mobility and electric vehicles, boosting our inventory of site-ready facilities, and creating thousands of jobs for Michiganders.”

The Orion Township and Ultium projects received a Critical Industry Program grant from the state to the tune of about $600 million, and GM’s Orion Township expansion abatement was granted a tax abatement from the MEDC.

Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter also lauded GM for investing $4 million in its plant in Orion Township, which is located in Oakland County.

“We’re thrilled that the partnership with General Motors, Michigan, Oakland County and Orion Township is still thriving and geared toward the environmentally sustainable vehicles of the future,” Coulter said Tuesday. “This investment reinforces the confidence General Motors has in the Orion plant, the abundance of a skilled workforce in southeast Michigan and the appeal of Oakland County as an attractive place to locate advanced technology manufacturing.”

GM currently employs about 50,000 workers in Michigan.

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Laina G. Stebbins
Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins covers the environment, Native issues and criminal justice for the Advance. A lifelong Michigander, she is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service. When Laina is not writing or spending time with her cats, she loves art and design, listening to music, playing piano, enjoying good food and being out in nature (especially Up North).

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