Earlier this year, General Motors shut down its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center to convert the long-serving plant to a new purpose: electric vehicle production. With a new purpose, comes a new name: Factory ZERO.
The company revealed the new name – and its new sign – Friday, touting the significant meaning behind the name. The moniker is designed to remind workers and passersby of the purpose of GM’s vehicle development operations: zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.
“Factory ZERO is the next battleground in the EV race and will be GM’s flagship assembly plant in our journey to an all-electric future,” said Gerald Johnson, GM executive vice president of Global Manufacturing. “The electric trucks and SUVs that will be built here will help transform GM and the automotive industry.”
This spring officials revealed it planned to make the plant the center piece of its electric- and autonomous-vehicle development and production. The centerpiece of those efforts will be the company’s Ultium batteries and skateboard-based chassis technology.
Announcing the plant would be producing the much-anticipated GMC Hummer electric truck when it begins production next year, the company has been looking for ways to keep expanding its use. Part of the plan seemed to be coming together when it announced it would build the Cruise Origin, an autonomous electric shuttle-style vehicle.
Additionally, the company looked to find more ways to use the plant, as it said it would. That happened when it entered into a tentative agreement with Nikola Motors to produce its Badger electric pickup truck at the site. Those talks are ongoing due to problems with the Phoenix-based EV maker that came to light.
GM’s $2.2 billion investment in Factory ZERO, Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center for retooling and upgrades will position the facility to build EVs at scale. It represents the single largest investment in a plant in GM history. Once fully operational, the plant will create more than 2,200 jobs.
Factory ZERO is being transformed with sustainability in mind. During the plant’s physical transition, concrete waste was repurposed to create temporary roadways. The site also recycled stormwater to reduce discharge costs and offset the cost of potable water.
Treated stormwater will be used in cooling towers and the fire suppression system. Recognized by the Wildlife Habitat Council, the site also features a 16.5-acre wildlife habitat and is home to species such as monarchs, foxes and turkeys.
“This manufacturing plant will be the epitome of GM’s vision by sustainably manufacturing electric and shared autonomous vehicles that can help reduce crashes, emissions and congestion,” said Dane Parker, GM chief sustainability officer.