General Motors is planning to make a $449-million investment at its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant and Brownstown Battery Assembly site for producing the next generation Chevrolet Volt and two undisclosed future vehicles. GM said in a statement that the investment covers $384 million for Detroit-Hamtramck for new body shop tooling, equipment, and additional facility upgrades.
It also covers $65 million for the Brownstown site to help develop the next generation of lithium-ion battery production and future battery systems. GM’s North American manufacturing vice president, said in the statement, that the investments will help the new Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid build on its position as the leader in electrified propulsion.
He declined to disclose whether the investments would result to new jobs or keep existing jobs at the operations. He said during an Automotive Press Association event that they will just allow market to tell what the need will be. Johnson said that the $384 million earmarked for Detroit-Hamtramck is the largest single investment the carmaker has made in the site.
GM has already invested over $1 billion at Detroit-Hamtramck in the last five years. The Detroit-Hamtramck plant currently has around 1,600 workers on a single shift. It is the sole producer of the Chevrolet Volt. Aside from the hybrid, the site also builds the Cadillac ELR, the Chevy Impala and Malibu, and the Opel Ampera.
The Brownstown battery assembly plant, located around 30 miles south of the Detroit-Hamtramck site, produces the batteries for the Volt, Ampera and ELR. Johnson remarked that the Brownstown site is the first US high-volume site for automotive lithium-ion battery technologies.
GM is readying for the next-gen Volt as sales of the current model slow down. In the first quarter of 2014, GM only sold 3,606 Voltsin the US for a drop of 15 percent.