General Motors is investing more than $2 billion in six plants in Tennessee and Michigan to charge ahead with production of its first-ever all-electric Cadillac, the new Lyriq.
The company revealed that the bulk of the investment – about $2 billion – will help revamp the company’s plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee to begin production of the Lyriq, which just made its debut in August.
GM is moving production of its GMC Acadia to its Lansing Delta Township plant in Michigan while the Tennessee plant will continue to build the Cadillac XT6 and XT6 models there. The move to remodel the plant, including a configuring of the site’s main assembly area, two paint and two body shops will begin immediately.
“I’m proud to affirm our commitment to manufacturing in the U.S.,” said Gerald Johnson, GM’s executive vice president of global manufacturing, during an online press event. “These actions also represent the next strategic steps in General Motors’ commitment to an all-electric future, a future we envision with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion, saving the plant, saving lives and saving time.”
In addition to the changes at the company’s Spring Hill facility, GM announced that its plans:
- Production of the next-generation GMC Acadia will move to Lansing Delta Township Assembly, representing an investment of more than $100 million.
- $32 million will be invested at Flint Assembly for future production of heavy-duty Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups, which have gained significant market share in the United States and Canada.
- $17 million will be invested in the Romulus, Michigan propulsion plant to enhance automation and increase capacity of GM’s 10-speed truck transmission, which is used in full-size pickups and other key products, including the all-new Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, and the Cadillac Escalade.
- $3.5 million will be invested at Orion Assembly. In addition, $750,000 will be invested at GM’s site in Brownstown Charter Township, Michigan. Both investments are related to additional production of the Cruise AV test vehicle at Orion Assembly.
The Spring Hill plant, which was the original home of Saturn, will be the third location building some form of an EV, joining the former Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant now known as Factory Zero and the Orion Township, Michigan plant, which currently builds the Chevrolet Bolt. Factory Zero will manufacture the GMC Hummer, which debuts tonight, and the Cruise Origin shuttle-style vehicle.
GM officials noted that the company’s invested $29 billion in its U.S. production sites since 2009, and the Spring Hill project, according to Governor Bill Lee, will be the single largest expansion project in the state’s history. Tennessee is also home to auto plants for Volkswagen and Nissan.
GM CEO and Chairman Mary Barra is fond of saying that the company is on “a path to an all-electric future,” and has plans in place to roll out at least 20 battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, by 2023. The plan has been slow to get underway. Currently, GM offers only one long-range model in North America, the Chevrolet Bolt EV. But the coming year will see the pace quickly accelerate.
Caddy’s first long-range EV began as a concept version of the luxury crossover. However, when it was unveiled during an August webinar, GM’s North American President Steve Carlisle described it as “a very big moment for Cadillac and General Motors,” and “a cornerstone upon which we’re going to build the future.”
Specific details about the production model were sparse. The Lyriq, GM did confirm, will utilize the new BEV3 architecture and the new Ultium battery technology the automaker is developing as part of a joint venture with South Korea’s LG Chem – those batteries to be produced at a new plant in Ohio.