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GM to upgrade Detroit factories ready for next Volt

The Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant, where the Volt, Cadillac ELR and Opel/Vauxhall Ampera range-extended electric vehicles are built will get the bulk of the investment – a $384m (£229m) influx of cash to upgrade tooling, equipment and facilities for the next generation of plug-in models.

Following this latest investment, the Detroit-Hamtramck site, which also builds the Chevrolet Malibu and Impala, will have had $1bn (£596m) spent on upgrades over the last five years.

Nearby, the Brownstown Assembly plant south of Detroit will get an additional $65m (£39m) of funding to build new lithium-ion battery packs. The 479,000-foot landfill-free facility began production in October 2010, using funding from the United States Department of Energy.

Gerald Johnson, GM North America Manufacturing vice president, said: ‘General Motors is committed to building award-winning products and developing technologies in America, which helps to grow our economy from a resurgent auto industry. These investments will help the next-generation Chevrolet Volt build on its position as the leader in electrified propulsion.’

General Motors has invested heavily in the Detroit area in recent years. Since 2009, the carmaker has spent $5.4bn (£3.2bn) on its facilities in the United States, of which $2.8bn (£1.7bn) has been in the State of Michigan.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan added: ‘We anticipate that the upgrading of the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant and the production of GM’s next-generation electric vehicles will create well-paying jobs for Detroiters. As we continue to bring real change to our city, we need partners like GM who are committed to investing in our future.’

Alex Grant

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