The year 2020 has turned out to be in part an extended marketing push by GM to convince everyone that it’s all about electric now. It debuted an EV platform it pioneered decades ago, it debuted its family of EV powertrains, it tied up with Honda for EVs. And this week, it said it’ll be spending billions more on electric vehicles.
The tally, per GM’s release:
- $2 billion will be invested in Spring Hill Manufacturing to build fully electric vehicles including the luxury Cadillac LYRIQ. Through this investment, Spring Hill’s paint and body shops will undergo major expansions and the general assembly will receive comprehensive upgrades, including new machines, conveyors, controls and tooling. The renovation work in Spring Hill will begin immediately.
- 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.
This is all on top of the $2.2 billion that GM said in January it would invest in its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center, now called Factory ZERO for some reason. That’s in addition to the $300 million said last year it would invest in its plant in Orion, Michigan for EVs.
One thing to consider, however, before one becomes overly impressed with the $4.5 billion total: GM’s operating profit was $8.4 billion last year, and it would’ve been more had there not been a strike, considering that GM’s profit in 2018 was $11.8 billion. And while GM’s profits this year probably won’t match either of those numbers because of the pandemic, analysts still expect the company to be profitable.
For GM, in other words, $4.5 billion isn’t pocket change but it also isn’t much of a stretch.