Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said this week he expects General Motors to eventually produce up to 250,000 vehicles annually at its Factory Zero plant in the city’s Hamtramck suburb.
Following this week’s announcement that GM will produce a battery-electric version of the Chevy Silverado at Factory Zero, Duggan publically proclaimed GM will be making 250,000 vehicles per year at the newly renovated facility.
The state of Michigan and city of Detroit have already agreed to spend $11.7 million to repave the battered roads leading to the sprawling assembly plant, which will help speed up deliveries to and from the plant. Michigan will spend $6 million to repave the roads, which will come out of its Transportation Economic Development Fund, while the city will put up another $5.7 million.
However, Duggan’s predictions appear to be a bit off base. Speaking to The Detroit Free Press this week, GM spokesman Dan Flores appeared to indicate that Duggan made the 250,000 annual production number up. GM has not said how many vehicles it plans to produce at Factory Zero annually and says output at the facility will hinge on demand.
“Not sure where that number came from,” Flores said in an email. “We’ve never confirmed an annual number. Production will ultimately be determined by customer demand.”
A spokesman for Mayor Duggan told the Free Press that the 250,000 number is more of “a long-term aspirational goal,” rather than a fact. That said, the plant had an annual output of around 230,000 vehicles per year when it was building internal combustion engine vehicles, so the mayor’s estimate may not be far off if demand for GM’s battery-powered products proves to be strong.
The first vehicle to enter production at Factory Zero will be the GMC Hummer EV pickup, which will begin rolling off the assembly line there in late 2021. The Cruise Origin, a fully autonomous robotaxi, will enter production shortly after in 2022, followed by the 2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV in 2023. The production start date for the Chevy Silverado EV is yet to be determined.
GM is investing $2.2 billion into Factory Zero for retooling and various other upgrades, which is the single largest investment the company has ever made into a manufacturing facility at one time. The plant is expected to employ around 2,200 people when up and running at full capacity.