General Motors has something up its sleeves.
The American automaker has revealed plans to invest $245 million at its Orion Assembly plant in Michigan to support “an all-new vehicle program unlike any in the plant’s 32-year history.” Although the company didn’t disclose any more information on the all-new vehicle program, the Orion Assembly plant is currently in charge of producing the Chevrolet Sonic and Buick Verano. The company recently invested $160 million into the plant so it can manufacture the upcoming Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle.
The unnamed vehicle will likely lead to rumors and speculation in the coming months, but GM promises that it’ll be a brand-new product, something the plant has “never seen before.”
Ever since the previously idled plant reopened in 2010, GM has invested $962 million into Orion and today’s announcement is part of the $5.4 billion the American automaker plans to invest in U.S. manufacturing over the next three years.
If we had to take a guess on what GM is planning, look no further than Tesla, an automaker that GM intends to keep up with. The Chevrolet Bolt is looking to jump the gun on the Model 3, but GM doesn’t have an all-electric offering in the booming crossover segment, which Tesla will invade with the Model X. Recent rumors that Tesla is developing a Model 3 crossover could entice GM to look toward the same market.
“Orion is an example of what we can achieve when we work together,” said UAW vice-president Cindy Estrada, who leads the union’s GM Department. “Only through innovative problem solving were we going to see this plant succeed, and this new investment is proof of that. UAW-GM continue to show the world that when you involve both workers and management in the process, workers win, management wins and our communities win.”
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