GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant goes all-electric

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General Motors/Steve Fecht

General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center—which opened in 1985 and produced such gasoline-powered icons as the Cadillac Eldorado, Oldsmobile Toronado, Pontiac Bonneville, Buick LeSabre, and Chevrolet Impala—is going all-electric. GM announced that the Michigan production plant will henceforth be known as Factory ZERO, which reflects the automaker’s intention to advance GM’s “zero-crashes, zero-emissions, and zero-congestion” future.

In a press release, GM Executive Vice President of Global Manufacturing Gerald Johnson said, “Factory ZERO is the next battleground in the EV race … The electric trucks and SUVs that will be built here will help transform GM and the automotive industry.”

factory zero plant announcement by executive
General Motors Executive Vice President of Global Manufacturing Gerald Johnson. General Motors/Jeffrey Sauger

The last Impala rolled off the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center assembly line in February 2020. At the time, the low-volume Impala and Cadillac CT6 were the only GM vehicles being built there, and the GMC Hummer EV needed a home. The electric Hummer, originally scheduled to be introduced on May 20, will be unveiled tomorrow, October 20. According to GM, Hummer production is scheduled to begin in late 2021.

The list of gasoline-powered cars that were once produced at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant includes the Oldsmobile Trofeo, Cadillac DeVille and Seville, and the Chevrolet Volt.

GM says it will invest $2.2 billion for upgrades and retooling, the largest-ever investment in any GM plant. GM says that once it is fully operational, it will create more than 2200 jobs.

factory zero plant worker walks interior
General Motors/Jeffrey Sauger

In addition to the Hummer EV, GM says the Cruise Origin—a purpose-built electric, self-driving vehicle—will also be built at Factory ZERO on GM’s Ultium battery platform.

According to the Detroit Free Press, GM’s sustainability plan has carried over to the physical transformation of the plant, as GM recycled concrete for temporary roadways and is using treated stormwater in its fire suppression system. The Factory ZERO site also features a 16.5-acre wildlife habitat.

General Motors has vowed that all of its U.S. facilities will use renewable energy by 2030, and all of its global facilities will do the same by 2040.

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