Falling just on the heels of a similar announcement from Ford, which is planning to build an autonomous vehicle plant in Michigan, General Motors announced it will be building a new Chevrolet EV at its Orion Assembly Plant.
GM plans to spend $300 million and add 400 new jobs to Orion Assembly in order to build the yet-unnamed EV.
The new vehicle and jobs represent a portion of the $1.8 billion the General plans to invest in its U.S. manufacturing. GM estimates this investment could result in as many as 700 new jobs and support 28,000 current workers.
In the press release, GM was quick to remind that its next all-new EV built on its next generation of battery-electric architecture will debut under the Cadillac brand. This Chevy will be built on the current Bolt EV architecture. So, it will be more of the same, essentially, rather than something totally new.
Certainly, Chevrolet getting another new EV is great. The move feels a bit reactionary, if I am honest.
The automaker has been under fire for the March closing of the Lordstown, Ohio Plant that built the Cruze. And, as far as we knew, GM had no plans to continue the Bolt EV’s chassis with further products. Now suddenly it is expanding the Orion line, adding 400 jobs, and creating a new Chevy EV.
This is either indicative of one of two things (if not both): GM needed a jobs ‘win,’ so it decided to create a quick ‘new’ car off of the Bolt EV chassis, which requires little research and development. Or the all-new all-electric chassis that underpins the aforementioned new Cadillac EV is taking more time to engineer and refine than the General previously thought. Or, you know, both.
Regardless of what motivating factors lead to the creation of this new car and 400 additional jobs, it’s a good move for Orion-area workers, EV buyers, and the planet.