Supply Chain Council of European Union |

GM retools former Saturn plant and Detroit ‘Factory Zero’ to build EVs

GM is investing US$2 billion into its plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee to build electric vehicles (EVs) alongside gasoline ones, starting with the Cadillac Lyriq.

It’s now the third facility planned for EV production, along with a plant renamed “Factory Zero” in Detroit-Hamtramck, Michigan; and Orion Assembly in Orion Township, Michigan.

GM also confirmed that it will invest in five other plants in Michigan, including Flint Assembly and Lansing Delta Township Assembly, for future full-size pickup and crossover production.

The factory in Spring Hill was originally built in 1990 to produce Saturn vehicles. Saturn was discontinued in 2009, and the plant was retooled to build the Chevrolet Traverse.

It currently builds the GMC Acadia, and Cadillac XT5 and XT6. The Acadia will move to Lansing Delta Township, while XT5 and XT6 production will continue, and the Lyriq will be built alongside them. Renovation will begin immediately and will include expanded paint and body shops, and upgrades to the assembly line.

A sign is unveiled at General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Friday, October 16, 2020, introducing a new name: Factory ZERO, Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center. The facility will be known as Factory ZERO, which reflects the significance of this assembly center advancing GM’s zero-crashes, zero-emissions and zero-congestion future.

Flint Assembly will be upgraded to build heavy-duty versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. The company will also invest in its plant in Romulus, Michigan to increase capacity of its ten-speed truck transmission. Factory Zero will build the new, all-electric Hummer pickup beginning in late 2021, followed by the Cruise Origin, a self-driving vehicle. Orion Assembly, which builds the Chevrolet Bolt, will add another Chevrolet EV.

GM closed its car assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario in 2019 but with plans to convert portions of it to a technical testing centre. Work halted earlier this year on the advanced technology track due to COVID-19 restrictions but resumed early in October 2020. It is expected to be completed later this year, with an official opening planned for the spring of 2021. The track is intended to test all-electric, self-driving, and connected vehicles.

LISTEN: E-mobility expert Daniel Breton talks EV adoption in Quebec.

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