In February 2020, General Motors officially announced a plan to convert the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant into what will supposedly be the first of its kind. Finally, after a little over a year and $2.2 billion later, GM Factory Zero has finished construction, and President Joe Biden was in attendance. More than that, the 78-year-old president even got behind the wheel of a 1,000 hp GMC Hummer EV pickup. After just driving the vehicle a few feet, he lines himself up with a straight path and floors it, testing out the sheer power of GM’s first entry into the electric truck market. GM CEO Mary Barra was in the back seat. His response is captured in the video below:
Factory Zero Production And Employment
Production at Factory Zero is set to begin officially. Still, we know from a previous report that it’s already been turning out vehicles since October with around 435 workers already employed, making the pre-production GMC Hummer EV pickup trucks. GM plans to hire 2,200 people at the factory now that it is fully operational, ramping up employment through 2022. As employment increases, the factory’s productivity will as well since Factory Zero will be home to the Hummer EV, Chevrolet Silverado EV, Cadillac Escalade EV, and the closely guarded GMC Sierra EV.
With the opening of Factory Zero, GM debuts its Ultium Platform, which will be the heart of the company’s EV product strategy. The platform encompasses a typical vehicle architecture and propulsion components like battery cells, modules, drive units, packs, EV motors, and integrated power electronics which is fundamental at plants where EVs are produced. In addition, the platform will help GM create a chain shift across its network of assembly plants to streamline machinery, tooling, and assembly processes.
General Motors Future Renovation Plans
The retooling of Factory Zero was done for two-thirds of the capital requirement to build a greenfield plant making the facility a model for future GM renovations. The company continues the transition to an all-electric future, and through renovations, it is projected to avoid up to $15 billion in capital costs by 2030. That figure is expected to grow almost double by the time they complete the transitions for all of their facilities.
GM’s Factory Zero can produce an EV within the same amount of working hours it takes to build an ICE vehicle and will be able to launch its expanding portfolio of EVs while saving money and maintaining high build quality.