$2.2 Billion in Funding, Rolling Toaster Bound for GM's Detroit-Hamtramck Plant

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
2 2 billion in funding rolling toaster bound for gms detroit hamtramck plant

With just days left before the last Cadillac CT6 and Chevrolet Impala sedans roll off the assembly line at General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck plant, the automaker has put up funding for the facility’s future.

For the once endangered plant, it will be a future free of gas-powered cars and trucks. Instead, the sprawling facility will be home to a range of electric SUVs and trucks, one of them bearing the Hummer name, and a rolling box with no driver.

GM announced the cash dump in Detroit on Monday morning, offering the not-unexpected news that the Origin autonomous vehicle revealed last week will call Detroit-Hamtramck home. Crafted by GM’s Cruise self-driving arm, with help from Honda, the Origin is the automaker’s first ground-up autonomous vehicle. The conversion of Detroit-Hamtramck into an EV-only plant makes its inclusion in the product roster almost a given.

Perhaps much more interesting to human consumers is the electric pickup bound for the facility in late 2021. While GM hasn’t revealed details of the Ford F-150 EV fighter’s specs or even name, media reports earlier this month claim the pickup will carry the GMC badge and the Hummer name. Supposedly, we’ll see — or at least hear — more about this vehicle during next Sunday’s Super Bowl.

It’s possible the Hummer name won’t exist solely on a single vehicle.

“Through this investment, GM is taking a big step forward in making our vision of an all-electric future a reality,” said GM President Mark Reuss, flanked by elected bigwigs. “Our electric pickup will be the first of multiple electric truck variants we will build at Detroit-Hamtramck over the next few years.”

Built on the grave of an old Dodge plant in the early 1980s, Detroit-Hamtramck pumped out a range of ritzy GM products over the years, including the Olds Toronado and Cadillac Eldorado, before its ranks started to thin. The automaker culled two models, the Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Volt, in 2019, ahead of a plant closure pegged for the end of the year. After the CT6 and Impala earned a brief reprieve, the plant’s future was resurrected in the UAW labor contract reached last fall.

Retooling begins after the final two models move out in February.

“The plant’s paint and body shops and general assembly area will receive comprehensive upgrades, including new machines, conveyors, controls and tooling,” the automaker said in a statement.

When it reopens, battery packs bound for Detroit-Hamtramck-built vehicles will originate from a joint GM-LG Chem facility in Lordstown, Ohio. That plan, announced in December, is greased with $2.3 billion in funding.

[Image: General Motors]

Join the conversation
2 of 5 comments
  • RHD RHD on Jan 28, 2020

    Nissan called - they want their two Cube rear ends back now. This might be at home in Disneyland, although it wouldn't be able to carry nearly enough people. The accidents and screw-ups that the Origin gets involved in during the next few years are going to be entertaining, and sometimes tragic. Has it occurred to GM that maybe no one would actually want to buy this thing?

  • Ponchoman49 Ponchoman49 on Jan 28, 2020

    Nothing new here folks. The next big "GM thing" in a long long line of big "GM things" that this company spent massive amounts of cash on only to slowly phase it out and discontinue production until the next big "GM thing" comes along. I predict that this company will either be out of business or a niche small company with a few huge profit margin trucks and SUV's and nothing else within the next 10-15 years tops.

  • Tassos I knew a woman in the area, a journalist (at least she claimed to be a reporter of some kind) who owned one of these tiny pickups with a manual transmission. SHe was only 40 at the time, but she must have been hard of hearing, because she would routinely forget to shift and we would go at fairly high speeds in very low gear, which made a huge racket, which did not seem to bother her (hence my deafness hypothesis). Either that, or she was a lousy driver. Oh well, another very forgettable, silly car from the 80s (and if my first and LAST VW, a 1975 Dasher wagon, was any indication, a very unreliable one too!)
  • Tassos Now as for the Z specifically, Car and Driver had a comparison test of the new Z400, a car that looks good on paper, with plenty of HP etc, but, despite the fact that the cars that win in those tests are usually brand new models that are more up to date than their aging rivals, the Z finished DEAD LAST in the test, to my ovbious surprise.
  • Arthur Dailey Sorry but compare that spartan interior to the Marks that Corey is writing about. 'A cigarette lighter'. Every Mark had 4 cigarette lighters and ashtrays. And these came standard with 'a 3.4-liter, 182-horsepower straight-six in the engine compartment and a five-speed manual transmission'. Those do not tick off many of the luxury boxes aspired to by 'the greatest generation'.Not sure about the 7 series but one of My Old Man's associates showed up once with a brand new 5 series circa 1977 and they gave him such a bad time that he traded it for a Fleetwood within a week.
  • Tassos I clearly have no sentimental attachment to any cars from the 80s. I myself drove a Dasher (passat) wagon with horrible reliability, and then a Pontiac 2000, very fuel efficient for its time with its 1.8 lt and 5 speed, but a small econobox crudely made, with no luxuries inside. But most other cars of the era were really CRAPPY, unsafe, both in terms of passive AND active safety, had very few options modern cars have, etc etc. The best car I owned then was a 1991 Honda Civic 5-sp hatch, but that was also an 80s design that was on sale from 1987-1991. Not just the domestics were crappy then, but so were m ost of the imports. As you can see, I have ZERO "nostalgia" for any of these, especially not for the unreliable, poorly made JUNK from DATSUN-NISSAN, which is widely reviled overseas as a maker of small pickup trucks that are the favorites of Gypsies selling watermelons from their bed.
  • Tassos While Acura was the first Japanese attempt to sell 'luxury' (or "premium") vehicles in the US market, and despite its original good success in the near-luxury segment with the Legend and the far smaller and less expensive Itegra (a glorified Civic), it later lost its momentum and offered a series of underwhelming vehicles. It sure is not a LUXURY maker, and as long as it offers FWD or AWD and NOT RWD vehicles, it will never be taken seriously as a serious sports cars maker. Infiniti is much worse, and if both of them go under, few will notice. Lexus was more successful, offering pimped up TOyotas for 10,000s more, but there is NO vehicle in their lineup, esp now that they scewed up the only serious entry (the LS), that I would care to consider. AND I say all this as a very satisfied owner of 5-speed Honda coupes and hatchbacks (a 1991 Civic hatch and a 1990 Accord Coupe).