By on March 22, 2019


That didn’t take long, did it? In a Friday morning announcement, General Motors said it plans to bring a second electric product to the Orion Assembly plant in suburban Detroit, home to the Chevrolet Bolt.

Forget Buick and Cadillac, too. This Bolt-based product is destined to carry the bowtie badge.

Details of the upcoming model are thin. GM would only refer to the “new Chevrolet electric vehicle” as a model “designed and engineered off an advanced version of the current award-winning Bolt EV architecture.”

Product details and timing will have to wait, the automaker said. The product addition, greased by $300 million from GM coffers, will add 400 jobs to the Orion facility. Orion current employs 880 hourly and 130 salaried employees.

“This new Chevrolet electric vehicle is another positive step toward our commitment to an all-electric future,” said GM CEO Mary Barra in a statement. “GM will continue to invest in our U.S. operations where we see opportunities for growth.”

Media reports late last night suggested the model was originally slated for Chinese production, but ongoing trade tensions (and talks) put the kibosh on the plan. While GM didn’t mention China, it did admit the model had been “slated for production outside of the U.S.”

“Moving production to a U.S. manufacturing plant supports the rules of origin provisions in the proposed United States, Mexico and Canada Agreement,” GM stated.

It’s easy to see the move as a ploy to lower political pressure on the company in the United States. After mothballing Lordstown Assembly and placing Detroit-Hamtramck’s post-January 2020 future in doubt, GM saw no shortage of backlash, not the least of which came from President Donald Trump. GM took pains to mention new opportunities for displaced workers in its media release.

“In addition to the job growth at the Orion plant, GM has job opportunities at several other U.S. manufacturing plants for virtually all U.S. hourly employees impacted by the recent announcement of unallocated plants,” the company stated. Odd that the announcement comes with no timeline attached…

As for the mystery Chevrolet model — you’re all thinking it’s a crossover, and so are we. No other bodystyle makes sense for a new EV. Even if the Bolt’s battery pack remains untouched, the hatchback’s 238 miles of range should keep a heavier, less aerodynamic crossover in the industry-acceptable 200-plus mile zone.

[Image: General Motors]

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20 Comments on “Second Electric Chevrolet Coming to Michigan...”

  • avatar

    Im not sure what $300 million will get you in a plant these days. I imagine the vehicle could not stray too far from the Bolt without needing more money.

    Maybe just making the box on top bigger can be done for that amount?

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      If I’m not mistaken, that 300 million is an investment in the Orion plant proper to prepare it for production of the new EV. Funding for the actual vehicle would be above and beyond that.

    • 0 avatar

      $300M would cover new carpet in the plant.

      • 0 avatar

        Automotive trivia: Part of the floor of the 3.5 million square foot Willow Run plant was made up of ~16 million wooden blocks laid ‘vertically’ over a concrete pad. (What?)

        • 0 avatar

          @toolguy: Yeah, I remember seeing those same blocks in the floors of Janesville. In the newer plants, it was all nice clean concrete. I don’t remember if they were in the North Tarrytown plant, the other ancient hellhole I spent time in. It was so dark and dirty you really couldn’t tell what you were walking on there.

    • 0 avatar

      “Maybe just making the box on top bigger can be done for that amount?”

      A bigger box would be transformative for its appeal since it’s purporting to be a CUV.

      Then perhaps GM would deign to actually ship some to dealers outside the megalopoli.

  • avatar

    Thanks foe the investment, Honda!

    “General Motors (GM) will supply battery components for electric cars from Honda Motors (HMC), amping up GM’s rivalry with Tesla (TSLA), which seeks dominance in EV battery production. Honda will “source” battery cells and modules from GM, the companies jointly announced in a news release Thursday. GM’s next-generation battery system will deliver more energy, be smaller than current technology, and charge more quickly, according to the release.” Investors Daily

  • avatar

    Volt – 60% North American content.
    Bolt – 25% North American content.

    GM sides against America again.

  • avatar

    The auto guide ad videos are killing me.

    Cole’s kid is VERY ANNOYING !

    How can i turn them off???

  • avatar

    Colt? No, FCA probably (?) still owns it.
    Dolt? Would be fitting for GM, but…
    Ohm? For the Buddhist demographic, as well.
    Watt? The Chevy What?!?

    • 0 avatar

      The Colt would be a Mitsubishi trademark, it’s always been one of their nameplates (or at least until the last one went out of production in 2013). The Dodge/Plymouth Colts were just rebadged Mitsus, and kept the same name.

  • avatar

    Isn’t “Spark” available?

  • avatar

    All GM EVs are tiny size cars like the Bolt, to compete with the likes of the Leaf, Kona, etc… Where is the compact size Electric vehicles happening for GM? And how about a Tesla Model S competitor? Oh, right that where the German luxury brand are heading! LOL!

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    I’d like to go full EV when I get rid of my 2013 Volt but I could never drive something as dorky and cheap looking on the inside as the Bolt. Hoping Cadillac comes up with a decent looking EV sedan that I can pick up used(lease return)for dirt like I did the Volt.

  • avatar

    They could just call this new crossover EV the Volt. Wait, never mind: that makes too much sense.

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