It has been a rough couple of weeks for General Motors with the constant scrutiny on its recalls in the public eye, but the company is trying to move forward. This week, it announced a $449 million investment into its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly and Brownstown Battery Assembly plants. Part of the money is going into upgrades that allow for the next-generation Chevrolet Volt to be built.

The expenditure includes $384 million for Detroit-Hamtramck that already builds the Volt, Malibu, Impala, Cadillac ELR and Opel Ampera. It's getting new body shop tooling, equipment and upgrades to build the next-generation Volt and two other future, unrevealed vehicles. "These investments will help the next-generation Chevrolet Volt build on its position as the leader in electrified propulsion," said Gerald Johnson, GM North America Manufacturing vice president, in the company's statement.

The other $65 million is going to Brownstown, which makes the lithium-ion battery packs for many of GM's electrified vehicles. The new funding is being put towards production of the company's next-generation of lithium-ion batteries and future battery systems.

GM is remaining tight-lipped about when the investments into the plants are beginning. "We have no timeline at the moment [for the upgrades]," said GM spokesperson for the Detroit-Hamtramck plant, Dave Darovitz, to Autoblog. He also couldn't give us any further info on the next-gen Volt or the other two new vehicles being built there. Scroll down to read more about the investment.
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GM Invests $449 Million for Next Generation Electrification

Brings U.S. facility investment for technologies to $5.4 billion since 2009
2014-04-08

DETROIT – In preparation for the next generation of electric vehicles and advanced battery technologies, General Motors will invest $449 million to upgrade manufacturing processes at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly and Brownstown Battery Assembly plants.

"General Motors is committed to building award-winning products and developing technologies in America, which helps to grow our economy from a resurgent auto industry," said Gerald Johnson, GM North America Manufacturing vice president. "These investments will help the next-generation Chevrolet Volt build on its position as the leader in electrified propulsion."

The investment, announced at the Automotive Press Association, is the largest to date at both facilities and includes $384 million at Detroit-Hamtramck for new Body Shop tooling, equipment, and additional plant upgrades to build the next generation Chevrolet Volt and two future products. This brings GM's total investment at Detroit-Hamtramck to more than $1 billion over the last five years.

GM's $65 million investment at its Brownstown Battery Assembly will support the next generation of lithium-ion battery production and future battery systems.

"Michigan is poised for even greater global leadership in automotive innovation," Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said. "This significant investment by GM will harness the power of our state's unparalleled assets, such as its talent, world-class universities, and research and development capabilities.

"While challenges remain throughout the auto industry, this announcement shows that it is looking to the future, and the resulting technological advancements will strengthen our economy and benefit our environment," Snyder said. "This is great news for Detroit, the region and all of Michigan."

Since 2009, GM has announced more than $5.4 billion in U.S. facility investment for vehicle technologies that benefit customers. This includes more than $2.8 billion invested in Michigan-based facilities alone.

The Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant is the world's only automotive plant that mass-produces extended-range electric vehicles – including the Volt, Cadillac ELR and Opel Ampera – for markets in 33 countries. Detroit-Hamtramck also builds the Chevrolet Malibu and Impala sedans and is home to a 264,000-square-foot photovoltaic solar array that can generate up to 516 kilowatts of electricity, or enough to charge 150 electric vehicles per day.

"This is a significant investment by General Motors and it helps to further position Detroit as a leader in the innovative technologies of tomorrow," said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. "We anticipate that the upgrading of the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant and the production of GM's next-generation electric vehicles will create well-paying jobs for Detroiters. As we continue to bring real change to our city, we need partners like GM who are committed to investing in our future."

Brownstown Battery Assembly's 479,000-square-foot, landfill-free facility south of Detroit produces the lithium-ion battery packs for GM's extended-range electric vehicles. It started mass production in October 2010 and is the first high-volume manufacturing site in the U.S. operated by a major automaker for automotive lithium-ion battery production. The site was made possible with the help of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding through the U.S. Department of Energy.

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.


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  • 30 Comments
      Jim1961
      • 8 Months Ago
      I'm currently leasing a 2012 Leaf and a 2013 Volt. They are really great cars, especially the Volt. I wish more people would consider purchasing or leasing a plugin car but the only people who can afford plugin cars are those who can do math.
      Spec
      • 8 Months Ago
      I'm glad to see them pushing the Voltec technology forward. The Volt was a revolution car and a great start. Now they need a cost-reduced version to get more people into these Voltec cars. And they need more body styles like an SUV, CUV, pick-up, mini-van, etc. so people with other body type needs can buy Voltec cars.
        porosavuporo
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Spec
        Volt is a series hybrid. Not the first, not the last. Hardly a "revolution car"
          thecommentator2013
          • 8 Months Ago
          @porosavuporo
          It's 2014 and you're still stuck on terminology on what the car exactly is?
          RoyEMunson
          • 8 Months Ago
          @porosavuporo
          At least the nay-sayers have the correct terminology down... finally.
          Jim1961
          • 8 Months Ago
          @porosavuporo
          The Volt can act as a series hybrid or parallel hybrid. See the following video for the technical details: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsirsjcb2f8
          Jason
          • 8 Months Ago
          @porosavuporo
          Volt is not a Hybrid in any way shape or form of any terminology. It is an electric car with a gas powered generator back up. The only thing that powers the entire car is electricity. Once the battery is depleted the gas engine kicks on to generate enough power to give the battery enough juice to power the car.
      axton72op8
      • 8 Months Ago
      great. i support gm when they do things like this. and despite being pulled backwards into a whole by government politics , it looks like gm is trying to keep pushing forward.
      Matt
      • 8 Months Ago
      The next Volt has to take a serious step forward if it's going to compete with the Audi A3 e-tron.
        Eta Carinae
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Matt
        Huh ? The A3 E-tron barely competes with this generation volt let alone the next one....and also they dont even directly compete against each other....
          Matt
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Eta Carinae
          The series/parallel arrangement of the e-Tron is a much more efficient use of the gas engine than the series arrangement of the Volt. The Volt burns more fuel than a Cruze Eco on a highway trip because it's inefficient to run an engine to charge a battery then discharge with a motor. I won't consider a Volt anyway, because it has insufficient cargo capacity for anyone with kids. Even if the A3 e-Tron offed nothing but cargo volume over the Volt, that would be reason enough to pick it.
          Matt
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Eta Carinae
          scraejtp, those published cargo capacity numbers don't mean a thing; you can stack baby crap to the roof in a hatchback, and you can't do that in a sedan. The Volt powertrain is very good, but the sedan body style limits its practicality.
        scraejtp
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Matt
        Matt, I am a little confused now. The Volt is a hatchback as well; although admittedly the roof-line slopes down more aggressively than the A3 hatchback.
      JaredN
      • 8 Months Ago
      They need to do it right this time and use a dedicated platform, instead of a modified Cruze platform.
      marv.shocker
      • 8 Months Ago
      They should invest it in building decent cars...
      Arizonarelax
      • 8 Months Ago
      Why?
      amge5.5
      • 8 Months Ago
      Hopefully some of that money is going towards designers! The Volt tech is cool but it looks like a turd. Give a Volt with good styling and i'm in, I need a new dd soon.
        Ziv
        • 8 Months Ago
        @amge5.5
        I have a theory that all these Volt haters are actually just one person/troll. Why else would 90% of the Volt haters all use the same word? How often do you see the word turd anywhere else? I haven't seen it anywhere but in anti-Volt posts. The Volt has several problems, MSRP and back seat legroom come to mind, but its appearance isn't one of its problems. I get compliments on mine all the time.
      superlightv12
      • 8 Months Ago
      Try making the next one beautiful like the Tesla Model S. So many companies make hybrids and electrics that look like space aliens or robots. Some people just want a high tech car that looks great.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 8 Months Ago
      Nice... when are you folks gonna finally make the EV2? :)
      JonathanBond
      • 8 Months Ago
      I hope they make a platform based off of an electric car instead of an ICE platform already established.
        BipDBo
        • 8 Months Ago
        @JonathanBond
        The evolution that happened between the Cruze and the Volt left little to be recognized. Although they share some components, the 1st gen Volt is not a Cruze with a bunch of batteries shoved into the back. The T shaped battery pack was designed, as opposed to a floor pack as a ground up, optimal design to keep it in the most protected part of the car. It was an evolution from the battery in the dedicated EV1.
          CoolWaters
          • 8 Months Ago
          @BipDBo
          The central tunnel gives very good weight distribution, because it is more centrally located.
      danfred311
      • 8 Months Ago
      bla. yet another incompetent version. it wont be light, it wont be aerodynamic, it wont be fast nor reasonably priced. No engineering elegance nor an elegant design. when I die, make me a statue where I sit in eternal facepalming :) God why am I the only one in the world who can think.
        • 8 Months Ago
        @danfred311
        [blocked]
          danfred311
          • 8 Months Ago
          It isn't narcissism. It's levity to diffuse the burden to keep from building a doomsday device and lighting it up.
        EVnerdGene
        • 8 Months Ago
        @danfred311
        Dan, maybe you can commission Rodin. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3b/Paris_Tuileries_Garden_Facepalm_statue.jpg
          danfred311
          • 8 Months Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          Hehe, I should make that image my wallpaper. Maybe a large print on my wall :) I think my statue will have to be a double facepalm though. One doesn't seem quite adequate for this world :)
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