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General Motors will build its next all-electric vehicle at its Orion facility. The announcement was made this morning by the company's Chairman and CEO Mary Barra at the Michigan factory. That is the same plant that currently produces the battery-powered Chevy Bolt and (for now, at least) the Chevy Sonic. It also houses the Cruise Automation program that upfits vehicles with autonomous driving components and software.

The decision marks a move away from the original production plan to build the vehicle outside of the U.S. It also comes with a new $300 million investment in the factory, located in Orion Township, and is expected to increase employee headcount by 400.

The automaker says the new vehicle will wear the Chevrolet badge and will be built on an improved version of the platform that underpins the Bolt. Though it says more details about the vehicle will be announced closer to its production, it is widely expected to assume the popular shape of a compact crossover.

The Chevrolet Bolt was the second-best selling all-electric vehicle in the U.S. last year, moving 18,019 units. It was, however, overshadowed by the Tesla Model 3, which saw 139,782 examples delivered in 2018. That gap is only expected to widen as the California company recently started producing a $35,000 version of that car. For its part, the Bolt saw its MSRP lowered to $36,620 for 2019. 

Future electric vehicles from GM include a three-row Cadillac crossover. It is also mulling a full-size battery-powered pickup truck and SUVs.

In addition to the $300 million for the Orion plant, the automaker also underlined that it has recently announced a further $1.5 billion investment towards its U.S. manufacturing operations. Check out the official presser below for more details.

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GM to Invest $300 Million, Add 400 Jobs at Michigan Plant for New Chevrolet Electric Vehicle
Company also announces total new investment commitment of $1.8 billion in its U.S. manufacturing operations across six states, adding a total of 700 new jobs

Orion Township, Mich. — General Motors is investing $300 million in its Orion Township, Michigan, assembly plant to produce a new Chevrolet electric vehicle that will bring 400 new jobs to the Orion plant. Today’s announcement is part of GM’s new commitment to invest a total of $1.8 billion in its United States manufacturing operations, creating 700 new jobs and supporting 28,000 jobs across six states.

The new Chevrolet electric vehicle is in addition to the existing Chevrolet Bolt EV, further advancing GM’s commitment to an all-electric future. It will be designed and engineered off an advanced version of the current award-winning Bolt EV architecture. Additional product information and timing for the new Chevrolet EV will be released closer to production.

The 400 additional jobs are incremental to numbers associated with GM’s transformation announcement last fall. The new Chevrolet EV is in addition to the company’s earlier announcement that Cadillac will be the first brand to get vehicles off a future EV platform.

“We are excited to bring these jobs and this investment to the U.S.,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra during an announcement at the plant with employees, elected officials and community leaders. “This new Chevrolet electric vehicle is another positive step toward our commitment to an all-electric future. GM will continue to invest in our U.S. operations where we see opportunities for growth.”

The new electric vehicle had been slated for production outside of the U.S. The decision to bring it to Orion was based on many factors, including:

The Orion plant currently builds the Bolt EV, and the new Chevrolet EV will be based off an advanced version of the same vehicle architecture.
Moving production to a U.S. manufacturing plant supports the rules of origin provisions in the proposed United States, Mexico and Canada Agreement.
In addition to the job growth at the Orion plant, GM has job opportunities at several other U.S. manufacturing plants for virtually all U.S. hourly employees impacted by the recent announcement of unallocated plants. Other GM manufacturing plants adding jobs include Flint, Michigan; Spring Hill, Tennessee; Bowling Green, Kentucky; Arlington, Texas; and Toledo, Ohio.

For the 2,800 impacted U.S. hourly employees at GM’s unallocated plants, GM has 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.

In Michigan, in addition to the jobs and investment coming to the Orion plant, GM is in the process of adding 1,000 jobs at the Flint Truck Assembly Plant, recently announced new investments at the Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant and Romulus Propulsion Plant and this week revealed the all-new Cadillac CT5 to be produced at the Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant.

Orion Assembly currently builds the Chevrolet Bolt EV, Chevrolet Sonic and the Cruise AV test vehicles. The plant currently employs about 880 hourly and 130 salaried employees. Including the new investment, GM has invested nearly $1 billion at Orion Assembly since 2009.

GM to Invest $1.8 billion in U.S. Operations

With the $300 million investment at Orion for the future Chevrolet EV, GM also announced a total investment of $1.8 billion across its U.S. manufacturing operations, adding 700 new jobs and supporting 28,000 jobs across six states. This investment commitment includes the recently announced investments at its facilities in Spring Hill, Tennessee; Lansing Delta Township, Michigan; and Romulus, Michigan. Additional facilities receiving investments will be announced later. GM has invested more than $22 billion in its U.S. manufacturing operations since 2009.

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