It has been hardly a week since General Motors closed its Ohio plant—to great critical response. Fortunately, the carmaker has already announced a plan to add 400 new jobs through the construction of a new electric vehicle factory. Of course, this plant will be situated north of Detroit, but the $300 million Orion Township plant will manufacture a new Chevrolet vehicle based on the successful, battery-powered Chevy Bolt.
While the announcement is certainly good news, GM has not yet said when the new workers will be able to get to work or when the new vehicles will hit the market. Also, GM has not indicated if they will hire completely new workers or if they will pull from the pull of laid-off employees affected by several planned closings of at least four factors across the United States.
On top of the $300 million GM will spend at the new Michigan plant, the company also announced a plan to spend an additional $1.4 billion at existing US factories with at least 300 jobs. Unfortunately, there are no other details about this plan right now, either.
With so much still yet to reveal, GM spokesman Dan Flores has noted that this investment has been on the books for the past few weeks. He attests that it has long been their plan to build more vehicles, particularly electric and hybrid since the Bolt can currently travel up to 238 miles on a single electric charge. As such, the company has promised to release at least 20 all-new, all-electric vehicles around the world by 2023.
In addition, General Motors CEO Mary Barra reassures, “Right now, we’re focused on the people of Lordstown, making sure they have opportunities because we do have jobs. We want every single person in Lordstown to stay within the GM family, and that’s what we’re working on.”
The United Auto Workers are sure to hold Barra to her word. After all, they have sued GM over the factory closings. UAW Vice President Terry Dittes asserts that while GM’s announcement is good news, “there is hardship amongst four of our locations. And we’ve made it clear that we disagree with that.”
Time will tell, then, if GM is able to appease the labor union while satisfying their bottom line with this new plant.