The Chevrolet Volt is very important to the long-term success of General Motors. For starters, it marks the first time an American automaker would make a plug-in electric vehicle available to the mainstream consumer (as opposed to the limited lease-only offers with the EV1 about a decade ago). As such, it would make sense that The General would invest heavily in bringing the Volt to market. Today, GM has announced that it will invest $336 million to re-tool the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant in order to build the Volt. The facility has been building the Cadillac DTS (K-body) and Buick Lucerne (H-body) for the last few years.
To make sure the production process meets its standards, GM will start building prototype Volts at the plant sometime around March 2010. The $336 million brings GM’s combined Volt-related investments in Michigan to $700 million. In total, eight facilities will take part in bringing the Volt to market:
- tooling is coming from Grand Blanc
- lithium-ion batteries are coming from GM’s Brownstown Township battery pack manufacturing facility
- camshafts and connecting rods are making their way over from Bay City
- stampings and the Volt’s 1.4L engine-generator is being brought in from Flint
Final assembly will take place at the Detroit-Hamtramck facility, which will also produce the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera beginning in the latter half of 2011 for the European market.
On top of the aforementioned facilities, GM is working with many other organizations to make the Volt a reality. These include battery developers, builders of home and commercial charging stations, and power control and electric motor suppliers. In effect, GM is building an ecosystem around the Volt that’s creating new jobs and entirely new industries – something that’s expected to strengthen Michigan’s and America’s long-term competitiveness in the global automotive marketplace.
One tidbit that caught our eye:
To reduce cost and maximize flexible manufacturing techniques, some equipment for Volt production is being reused from other GM facilities and installed in the Detroit-Hamtramck plant’s body shop. The Volt will be built on the existing assembly line at Detroit-Hamtramck.
Does this mean that GM is tooling the plant to make it possible for other vehicles to be made there? We’ll dig into this one and get back to you.
Detroit-Hamtramck opened in 1985 and currently employs about 1,200 workers, including 1,100 hourly workers represented by UAW Local 22.
Check out the high-res gallery of the Volt after the break, along with GM’s press release!
2011 Chevrolet Volt
GM Invests $336 Million In Detroit-Hamtramck Plant To Build Chevrolet Volt
- Combined Volt-related investments by GM in eight Michigan locations total $700 million
- Expected to be first plant in the U.S. owned by a major automaker to produce an electric car
- Start of regular production scheduled for late 2010
DETROIT, Mich. – General Motors will invest $336 million in the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant to begin production of the Chevrolet Volt electric car, with extended-range capabilities, in 2010.
This brings GM’s combined Volt-related investments in Michigan to $700 million, covering eight facilities. Detroit-Hamtramck will be the final assembly location for the Volt, using tooling from Grand Blanc, lithium-ion batteries from GM’s Brownstown Township battery pack manufacturing facility, camshafts and connecting rods from Bay City, and stampings and the Volt’s 1.4L engine-generator from Flint.
“We expect the Detroit-Hamtramck plant will be the first facility in the U.S. owned by a major automaker to produce an electric car. It is the hub for the wheel that we began rolling in 2007 when the Volt debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit,” said Jon Lauckner, GM vice president of global product planning. “Since then, the field of challengers and partners has grown significantly. This competition will expedite the development of electric vehicle technology and infrastructure.”
After the Volt’s debut in January 2007, other automakers announced six plug-in hybrid or electric vehicles later that year, followed by 19 introductions in 2008 and five more this year.
In addition to GM’s $700 million in Volt-related facility investments, there are the many suppliers, utility companies and organizations investing in Michigan and the U.S. to support Volt production and electric vehicle development. In August, the U.S. Department of Energy selected 45 companies, universities and organizations in 28 states for more than $2 billion in awards for electric drive and battery manufacturing and transportation electrification.
“With GM leading, electric vehicle development is creating entirely new industries. These include battery developers, builders of home and commercial charging stations, and power control and electric motor suppliers,” Lauckner said. “These investments in the electric vehicle ecosystem are creating new jobs and strengthening Michigan’s and America’s long-term competitiveness.”
To reduce cost and maximize flexible manufacturing techniques, some equipment for Volt production is being reused from other GM facilities and installed in the Detroit-Hamtramck plant’s body shop. The Volt will be built on the existing assembly line at Detroit-Hamtramck. Assembly of Volt prototype vehicles will begin in the spring, with the start of regular production scheduled for late 2010.
Detroit-Hamtramck opened in 1985, and currently employs about 1,200 workers, including 1,100 hourly workers represented by UAW Local 22.
“This investment is great news for the workforce as it helps pave the way for the future and the electrification of the automobile,” said Cal Rapson, vice president and director, UAW International Union.
The Volt is an electric vehicle with extended-range capability. It is designed to drive up to 40 miles on electricity without using gasoline or producing tailpipe emissions. When the Volt’s lithium-ion battery is depleted of energy, an engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the total driving range to about 300 miles before refueling or stopping to recharge the battery. Pricing has not been announced.
About General Motors: General Motors, one of the world’s largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 209,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in some 140 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 34 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM’s largest national market is the United States, followed by China, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia and Germany. GM’s OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. General Motors acquired operations from General Motors Corporation on July 10, 2009, and references to prior periods in this and other press materials refer to operations of the old General Motors Corporation. More information on the new General Motors can be found at www.gm.com.