As of midnight, the United Auto Workers union has launched a strike on General Motors and all of its manufacturing facilities. Laborers walked off the line in assembly plants all over America, including the Fort Wayne and Flint Assembly plants where the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra half-ton and HD trucks are built, respectively. Negotiations haven’t gone well, but the Detroit automaker has shown a surprising amount of transparency by detailing intent to build an electric pickup truck in the United States. And according to The Detroit News, that GM electric truck would have been built at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant, where it’s been starved for product.
A fully electric pickup truck from General Motors has been rumored shortly after talks with startup EV truck and SUV maker Rivian fell through earlier this year in April. Shortly after, a $500 million deal was announced between Rivian and Ford Motor Company. Ford plans on launching an all-electric F-150 by 2022, and Chairman Bill Ford Jr hinted that its acceleration could rival the mighty Raptor. Public demand for such a vehicle is extremely unclear.
As for a future GM electric truck, it’s understood that the company has put together some of its best engineers to get the job done. According to Reuters, Chevrolet Bolt EV chief engineer Josh Tavel is largely leading the project. Former Chevrolet Camaro chief engineer Al Oppenheiser is also a figurehead in GM’s future electrification efforts. As for what the GM electric truck could be called, it’s still unknown, but even the Hummer name has been thrown in the mix.
General Motors and the UAW are expected to be working around the clock to come to a collective bargaining agreement, and if the automaker can promise some future product to unallocated plants, then it only helps their case. The national UAW strike otherwise comes at a time where the union is embattled in a far-reaching corruption scandal that includes their highest ranking officers and most important members.