General Motors will invest $336 million in the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant to begin production of the Chevrolet Volt extended range electric vehicle 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 US 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. Since then, the field of challengers and partners has grown significantly. This competition will expedite the development of electric vehicle technology and infrastructure.—Jon Lauckner, GM vice president of global product planning
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 US to support Volt production and electric vehicle development.
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.