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By Steve Purdy
Michigan Bureau
The Auto Channel

Detroit-Hamtramck and Brownstown Get Major Upgrades

Detroit April 8, 2014; At an APA meeting held in the Detroit Athletic Club this morning, General Motors VP of North American Manufacturing, Gerald Johnson, took the stage before the Automotive Press Association with Michigan governor, Rick Snyder, and Detroit’s new mayor, Mike Duggan to announce significant new investments in two Michigan manufacturing facilities.

The Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant is home to the extended range electric vehicles - Volt, Cadillac ELR and Opel Ampera – along with being one of the production sites for Malibu and Impala. Production of Volt and its siblings have recently increased to sate demand in 33 countries for those cars. It’s time now to retool the plant for the next generation of these electric cars. In order to do that, plus add flexibility to produce two more vehicles (Mr. Johnson offered no details on what those products might be) at the plant will result in an investment of $384 million. So, with that investment the plant will be able to produce up to 7 separate products.

Across town, in Brownstown Township the company will put $65 million into the Brownstown Battery Assembly plant to “support the next generation of lithium-ion battery production and future battery systems.” In spite of snail-like growth in demand for hybrid and electric vehicles, GM reminds us that they have made a serious commitment to these technologies and they continue to have confidence in that part of the market.

Perhaps the most startling news of the day came during questioning from attending journalists about government incentives to make those investments here. There were none, according the mayor and the governor.

Now, that’s unusual.

© Steve Purdy, Shunpiker Productions, All Rights Reserved