Like the broader auto industry, GM is going electric, with plans to fully transition its light-duty vehicle lineup to all-electric powertrains by the 2035 timeframe. Obviously, The General’s manufacturing base will need to make the transition as well, and some autoworkers have expressed concerns that the move to EVs could result in job losses, given all-electric vehicles typically require fewer parts to produce. Now, however, GM says it will actually boost employment next year, despite the move towards EVs.
In a recent statement made via video, GM Executive Vice President, Global Manufacturing and Sustainability, Gerald Johnson addressed the concerns of autoworkers with regard to possible job cuts in light of GM’s EV transition. Johnson’s comments arrive on the heels of opening negotiations between GM and the United Auto Workers (UAW) labor union, with GM and the UAW currently in talks ahead of expiration for the current four-year contract on September 14th.
“As GM moves forward toward an all-electric future, we are focused on bringing all of our employees with us,” Johnson states in the video. “We’ll do this by rapidly scaling our capacity to produce EVs while also continuing to make the best ICE trucks and SUVs in the industry.
Johnson says that the transition to EVs will “look different for everyone,” but states that GM will produce ICE vehicles and EVs concurrently, and in fact, producing both types of vehicles is required for the company’s wellbeing.
“There are people out there that claim EV production will require fewer employees. I simply don’t agree with that,” Johnson adds, saying that internal GM studies confirm that the employee base needed for future EV production is “very similar” to what’s needed to a comparable ICE vehicle.
“In fact, at least 80 percent of the build process at an assembly plant remains exactly the same for EVs as it does for ICE vehicles,” Johnson says.
Looking ahead, Johnson says GM will add additional shifts at the GM Lansing Delta Township plant in Michigan next year, as well as other facilities. The GM Lansing Delta Township plant currently produces the Chevy Traverse and Buick Enclave, both ICE-powered crossovers, while the ICE-powered GMC Acadia crossover will be built at the plant in the near future.
“We actually expect our employment numbers to grow in 2024,” Johnson says.