General Motors will invest $160 million in its Lake Orion Assembly plant in Michigan to construct a new battery module production line.
According to The Detroit News, the automaker filed a tax exemption request with Orion Township at the beginning of the month that is related to a “proposed investment,” for the “construction of an addition and land improvements for a new battery pack assembly facility.” The tax documents also indicate construction work at the plant will begin in July of 2022.
In a statement, GM spokesman Dan Flores told The Detroit News the automaker “is in the early stages of developing a business case for a potential future investment that could be located at several locations, including the Orion Township area.”
“As part of developing a competitive business case, we have had discussions with the appropriate Orion Township officials on potential incentive opportunities,” Flores said, adding that tax incentives would be a key factor behind where the automaker builds its next battery assembly plant.
Earlier this week it was revealed that Michigan lawmakers were drafting new legislation that would sideline millions of dollars to help attract new manufacturing investment to the state, with GM the central target of the effort. Michigan state officials are hoping to offset the effects of Ford’s decision to skip over its home state and build new electric vehicle and battery plants in Kentucky and Tennessee – investments that will total a sizable $11.4 billion.
GM is in the process of finalizing the locations of new battery module assembly plants in North America. GM President Mark Reuss said previously that building at least one of the plants in Michigan would be ideal, as this would save the company costs in shipping the modules from the battery plant to its various Michigan-based vehicle manufacturing plants.
The GM Lake Orion Assembly plant currently produces the Chevy Bolt EV and Chevy Bolt EUV – compact battery-electric models that are based on the automaker’s BEV2 electric vehicle platform and use its older battery module design and chemistry. The new battery assembly line would build the automaker’s next-generation Ultium batteries, which will be used in various future GM EV models, including the Cadillac Lyriq and GMC Hummer EV.