Sun, Mar 24, 2019 - Page 16 News List

GM announces US$1.8bn investment and new jobs


Facing criticism from US President Donald Trump over plant closures, General Motors (GM) Co on Friday announced a US$1.8 billion investment and the creation of 700 new jobs in the US.

About US$300 million would be geared toward production of electric vehicles (EV) at the auto giant’s Orion plant in Michigan, creating 400 jobs, the company said in a statement.

Those vehicles had been slated for production outside of the US.

In November last year, GM shuttered five US plants, including auto assembly plants in Michigan and Ohio, as part of a 15 percent cut in its workforce worldwide — cutting about 14,000 employees — prompting criticism from Trump on Twitter.

This week Trump urged the company to reopen the Lordstown, Ohio, auto plant or sell it to someone who would.

“We are excited to bring these jobs and this investment to the US,” GM chief executive officer Mary Barra said in announcing the plans to employees in Orion.

“This new Chevrolet electric vehicle is another positive step toward our commitment to an all-electric future. GM will continue to invest in our US operations where we see opportunities for growth,” Barra said.

The investment will help the company comply with rules agreed to under the revised North American free trade deal, the statement said.

The Orion plant already builds the Chevy Bolt EV and the new model “will be based off an advanced version of the same vehicle architecture,” the statement said.

However, this is separate from the previously announced plan to produce a Cadillac EV.

In addition to the investment, GM said it is in the process of adding 1,000 jobs to its truck assembly plant in Flint, Michigan.

The company said it has 2,700 openings at five sites in the US available to the 2,800 hourly workers affected by the recent plant closures.

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