Detroit Mayor Expects GM To Produce Up To 250,000 EVs Per Year At Factory Zero

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.

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Sam McEachern: Sam loves to write and has a passion for auto racing, karting and performance driving of all types.

View Comments (19)

  • Hehe, at the rediculous prices GM is charging, they’ll be lucky to sell 1 thousand a year.

  • They are making electric pickups (Hummer and Chevy) and that Bright Drop Van there.

    250,000 units is a great number now and they’d be lucky to sell that many given that the initial models are higher end, and higher priced. But within 6-7 years, that might not be enough capacity. They are also building some in Spring Hill.

    Hopefully this new Ultium battery-compatible chassis is as flexible and interchangeable as they say. Because there will need to be other factories making vehicles (including Hondas). I think these things are going to catch on quickly once more charging stations are added.

    GM should team up with Wal Mart, Kroger, Whole Foods, and Target to add a 5-6 slot charging station in all of their parking lots nationwide. Those stores are usually near highways in urban, suburban, areas. There are even a lot of Wal Marts in rural areas and small towns. They usually have restaurants in the out parcels that people can visit while their Hummer charges. Not to mention pick up essentials at the store.

    • Why should GM be involved in creating the charging infrastructure? Are there GM gas stations? That’s something for a whole different company to tackle and GM has been working with such companies to handle that.

      • Agreed - yet with all the waste that the federal government does, I'm resigned to the fact that if they are going to waste money, they might as well waste it on this.

        Every President - Including Trump - wildly spends money they don't have - until one day this country turns into Venezuela. Look at California's big cities with all the closed store fronts, and tent-cities. My own New York State is on the same path - with NY City turning into a Mess.

        I would wish that GM and other American-manufactured autos (GM never even claims to be an American company any longer) would concentrate on coming out with more desirable electric models. GM currently only has the FRUMPY Bolt ev for sale - I have one - but I'd hardly call it something with the makings of a 'Best Seller', with a defective battery pack that they are "WORKING NIGHT AND DAY TO FIX" - as if anyone actually believes that.

        In fairness, if VW, Honda, Diamler, and Kia-Hyundai have huge manufacturing presence in the USA, their vehicles substantially manufactured here (or with a huge percentage of US made parts) should also benefit from any tax credit.

        And companies such as Toyota have far more desirable Plug-in vehicles for sale as I type this - as a shining example the Highly desirable Toyota Rav4 Prime. It goes without saying that GM sells nothing currently that many people want - since they just force buyers into an Equinox or Traverse.

    • BrightDrop vans will initially be assembled at Warren MI this year, and later in higher volumes at CAMI next year.

  • I have to imagine this Factory Zero could crank out more than 250k vehicles are year since the biggest difference in the vehicles is in the body itself and interior. So the body shop will have to deal with the various styles, but once they're coming down the line it comes down to which 2 Utrium truck motors will go into it. All have the same single motor front motor and for the rear depending on specs either an identical single motor or the more powerful dual motor. Then you throw in some battery modules somewhere between 16 and 24 depending on the model. Almost all the components are preassembled so I have to imagine they will have many parallel lines outfitting the various vehicles.

    • Coming down the line? There will be no moving final assembly line at Factory Zero, GM is using assembly stations, and autonomous carriers to move the the bodies around after paint. This is supposed to improve worker fatigue (quality, productivity), as they no longer have to chase cars down the line if they get behind, also don't have to stop the production if one station is struggling. It seems pretty clever, and will be interesting to see how this develops.

      • It's just another liberal consultant's scam Mary overpaid for. It will fail, just like Tesla will once Trump pulls the plug in 24.

        • Melania I don't get how you can think Trump can win in 2024 - unless there is some progress made toward insisting on Voter-ID, Non-electronic voting, and severely limited absentee ballots.

          I voted for Mr. Trump in 2016 - but then immediately after the election he stated to 60 MINUTES' Leslie Stahl that "I'd never do anything against the Clintons - THEY'RE GOOD PEOPLE AND FRIENDS OF MINE". Which was not what he said when campaigning.

          So I voted for Tulsi Gabbard in 2020 since she told the least lies - but the powers-that-be didn't want her, either.

          Trump had at various times a Republican Majority in Both the House and Senate. He didn't get anything done (Our Trade Deficit actually increased under him) other than a few helpful regulation removals, and all his advisors THAT HE PUT IN CHARGE were unbelievably SCUM OF THE EARTH... Seeing as Trump just cannot be that DUMB - I won't trust him again.

    • He's a dirty politician for a dirty city that did NOTHING for gm, gave them no financial incentives and kicked them out when they refused to crown Coleman Young a king.

  • Between the Hummer SUV and SUT, Silverado, Sierra, Escalade and Origin, I can see 150k-200k. 250k is a stretch.