GM announces new jobs, electric-vehicle factory after Trump criticism

Roman Schwartz
March 24, 2019

We remain open to talking with all affected stakeholders, but our main focus remains on our employees and offering them jobs in our plants where we have growth opportunities. Trump called GM CEO Mary Barra on Sunday to urge her to reverse the decision to end production at the OH plant, which is in a crucial state for the 2020 presidential election.

Orion Assembly now builds the Chevrolet Bolt EV, Chevrolet Sonic and the Cruise AV test vehicles. Details on the additional investments will come at a later date, but GM said it plans to add 700 new jobs to other us facilities with the investments. The $300 million investment comes less than a week after a series of critical tweets from President Donald Trump over the closure of GM's Lordstown, Ohio factory.

In addition to the job growth at the Orion plant, GM has job opportunities at several other USA manufacturing plants for virtually all US hourly employees impacted by the recent announcement of unallocated plants.

Aside from creating 700 new jobs, it will build an all-new electric vehicle that was originally planned to be manufacturing in China. The new Chevrolet EV is in addition to the company's earlier announcement that Cadillac will be the first brand to get vehicles off a future EV platform.

The moves may help assuage Trump, who's attacked GM over its decisions announced in November to idle an OH plant and four other underutilized factories in the USA and Canada. The company has promised to introduce 20 new all-electric vehicles globally by 2023. The challenge for the UAW is that even if the automaker closes all four of the plants that have no product allocated for the future, several other plants aren't busy enough right now to warrant adding more workers.

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In November, GM announced plans to shut the four US factories and one in Canada.

About $300 million will be geared towards production of electric vehicles at the auto giant's Orion plant in MI, creating 400 jobs, the company said in a statement. About 3,300 workers in the USA would lose their jobs, as well as 2,600 in Canada. The state helped push him to victory in 2016, and Trump has focused on Lordstown, seldom mentioning the other USA factories that GM is slated to close.

The United Auto Workers has sued GM over the closings, which still must be negotiated with the union. "The UAW will help", said the President during a campaign stop in Lima, Ohio Wednesday.

Trump allies acknowledged that Trump may be limited by what he can accomplish for the Lordstown plant, but they said his vocal advocacy signaled to his supporters in the area that he is fighting on their behalf. "We want to create jobs, good-paying jobs".

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