General Motors is investing $3 billion into the Lansing area as part of a larger $7 billion plan for electric vehicle development and manufacturing in four Michigan facilities.
The announcement was made Tuesday morning at a news conference at Boji Tower in downtown Lansing that drew together a wide range of stakeholders from the automotive company, governor’s office, Michigan’s congressional delegation, state legislators, local municipal officials and utility representatives, and the United Auto Workers.
In all, the $7 billion investment will create 4,000 jobs and increase GM’s capacity to make battery cells and electric trucks. The two major components of the plan include the construction of a new Ultium Cells LLC cell battery plant near GM’s Lansing Delta Township Assembly plant and the conversion of the GM plant in Oakland County’s Orion Township for production of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra electric pickups.
“The $7 billion investment is the largest in GM’s history, and it’s so appropriate that it’s here in Michigan,” said GM CEO Mary Barra, who outlined the breakdown of the investments as follows:
“I am personally so excited, and we do have exciting news to share about how General Motors will add more capacity to build more electric vehicles and more batteries to power them as we transition to an all-electric future,” Barra said. “And we intend to bring our employees along with us through this transformation to that all-electric future. That includes thousands of employees right here in Michigan who will help make our state the epicenter of the electric vehicle industry.”
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer noted that the jobs created through GM’s investment will generate $35 billion in new personal income over the next 20 years to be spent in small businesses and local communities across the state. She also said that the realization of the plan came through a bipartisan effort of collaboration that included a wide range of stakeholder and partners working in unison for the greater good.
“Today’s investment is proof of what is possible when we work together,” Whitmer said. “As the governor of the state of Michigan, I will — and I know our Legislature will — work with anyone who wants to put Michiganders first. And that’s exactly what we did. We rolled up our sleeves, we brought people from both sides of the aisles — businesses, local leaders, utilities and labor together — to bring this $7 billion investment across the finish line. We proved the doubters and the cynics wrong. We showed everyone that we can compete for transformational projects.”
Reflecting on how Ransom E. Olds put the nation on wheels from Lansing and the past commitments GM has made to maintain Greater Lansing as a home for the automaker, Lansing Mayor Andy Schor said Tuesday’s announcement was a historic event that continues GM’s positive impact on the economic development of the region.
“As mayor, you always want to work to create an environment where jobs and growth and new investments become a reality,” Schor said. “I am so proud to have worked so hard with many partners to get this done. Our Board of Water and Light, getting together and making sure we can make this happen. … Our Lansing Economic Area Partnership, making sure we do regional work here. … It’s transformational. It’s game changing for Lansing, for our region, for the world.”
And perhaps most of all, game changing for Michigan as the state remains center stage while automotive manufacturing continues to expand and evolve into the future, Whitmer said.
“This is about being made in Michigan,” she said. “This about being the epicenter of electric vehicles and coming together and putting Michigan first. … It is a great day in Michigan.”