As General Motors gets ready for GMC Hummer EV production to begin this fall, the automaker is nailing down the supply chain for its flagship electric vehicle offering. GM has already confirmed the Hummer will be built in the revamped Detroit Hamtramck production facility, renamed Factory Zero. The battery and Ultium Drive unit require some additional outsourcing, however, and General Motors will be outsourcing the production of the battery casing to Magna International. To accomplish this, Magna is building a $70.1 million production facility in St. Clair, Michigan dedicated to assembling the GMC Hummer EV battery casings.
The new plant will technically be a subsidiary of Magna, called Magna Electric Vehicle Structures. It’ll be a 345,000 square foot facility, and create 304 jobs for the city of St. Clair. The project has also received a $1.5 million grant from the state of Michigan, and Magna says production of the facility will begin in early 2022.
This is after the GMC Hummer EV begins production, so we expect this plant will build casings as production ramps up for more affordable models below the top-spec Edition 1 model. Given GM’s massive electric vehicle ambitions, there’s also a good chance this Magna plant could build casings for more than just the Hummer.
As mentioned, the Hummer EV is the first vehicle to use GM’s Ultium Drive EV propulsions system. Outside of being electric, the most important aspect of the powertrain system is its modularity. Other vehicles, such as the upcoming Cadillac Lyriq and electric Chevrolet Silverado, will also use the Ultium system, and its very likely the Magna Electric Vehicle Structures plant will make the casing for many, if not all, upcoming Ultium products. This is also supported by the fact that the plant can expand by up to 1 million square feet.
As electric vehicles become more common over the next few years, this plant will become very important for General Motors, and therefore the city of St. Clair, Michigan. Those initial 304 jobs will surely grow over time, giving the city a great source of economic and employment stability for years to come. It’s also great to see automakers continually investing their faith in the state of Michigan, the home of the auto industry, and carrying that forward into this supposed electric future.
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