Whether Trump’s bullying was a factor or not, GM now says that 400 jobs will be added at the Orion Township, Michigan, assembly plant to produce a new Chevrolet electric vehicle. The EV had been slated for non-U.S. production. The company also announced a new investment commitment of $1.8 billion in its U.S. manufacturing operations across six states, adding a total of 700 new jobs.
The announcements came less than a week after a rabid series of tweets by Trump about the closing of Lordstown, OH (a swing state in the upcoming election), which was one of the four plants GM said in November that would be idled in its latest cost cutting moves. GM declined to say if these were replacement jobs from abandoned workers’ or new jobs. The United Auto Workers union is currently in court against GM saying that closings must be negotiated with the union. (General Motors Kisses Trump’s Butt, General Motors Revises 2015 Strategy to Slash Costs and Streamline Engineering as Market and Competition Toughen)
The latest Chevrolet electric vehicle is in addition to the existing Chevrolet Bolt EV. It will be designed and engineered off a revised version of the current Bolt EV architecture. Additional product information and timing for the new Chevrolet EV will be released closer to production GM said.
The decision to bring it to Orion was based on many factors, including politics and the public outcry over the proposed GM cuts. The Orion plant currently builds the Bolt EV and moving production to a U.S. manufacturing plant supports the rules of origin provisions in the proposed United States, Mexico and Canada Agreement, aka NAFTA Lite, which still hasn’t been ratified.
For the 2,800 impacted U.S. hourly employees at GM’s doomed plants, GM claims is has confirmed 2,700 openings across its U.S. manufacturing plants. To date, 1,100 employees have been placed at other GM plants, with several hundred more in the process of being placed in new jobs. In addition, 1,200 of these employees are retirement eligible.