scorecardGM will spend $2 billion reinventing one of its famous factories to build the new Cadillac Lyriq EV
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GM will spend $2 billion reinventing one of its famous factories to build the new Cadillac Lyriq EV

Matthew DeBord   

GM will spend $2 billion reinventing one of its famous factories to build the new Cadillac Lyriq EV
LifeThelife2 min read
  • General Motors will invest $2 billion to transform its Spring Hill, Tennessee factory in order to build the new Cadillac Lyriq EV.
  • Spring Hill opened in 1990 and gained fame for assembling Saturn vehicles as GM pioneered a "different kind of car company."
  • GM also said it would invest hundreds of millions into five other US factories.
  • The Spring Hill news comes not long after GM announced a $2.2 billion investment to shift its Detroit-Hamtramck factory to all-electric production, renaming the plant "Factory Zero."
  • GM plans to launch 22 new electrified vehicles by 2023.

General Motors announced Tuesday that it would invest $2 billion into its Spring Hill, Tennessee, factory to build the carmaker's forthcoming Cadillac Lyriq electric SUV.

Spring Hill is a legendary name in US auto manufacturing. The factory opened in 1990 for Saturn, a brand established by GM in 1985 and branded as a "different kind of car company."

Saturn didn't survive GM's 2009 bankruptcy, but the Spring Hill plant remained in operation. Today, it builds the Cadillac XT5 and XT6 SUVs and the mechanically similar GMC Acadia SUV.

Additional investments in Michigan manufacturing

In a news presentation, United Auto Workers Vice President Terry Dittes said that the XT5 and XT6 would remain in production at Spring Hill, which employs roughly 3,500 workers. The Acadia, he added, would be relocated to GM's Lansing, Michigan, plant, itself benefiting from a $100 million investment.

Last week, GM said it would spend $2.2 billion to transform its Detroit-Hamtramck factory to be an all-EV facility. The plant was renamed "Factory Zero" in a nod to GM CEO Mary Barra's strategy for a zero-emission future for the largest US automaker by sales volume.

GM intends to launch 22 electrified vehicles by 2023, including the GMC Hummer pickup, to be assembled at Factory Zero, and the Lyriq EV unveiled in August. Factory Zero will also make the Cruise Origin, an autonomous EV shuttle being jointly developed by GM and Honda for Cruise, the GM-affiliated self-driving startup based in San Francisco.

"We're investing in US factories to lead the transformation to all-electric future," Gerald Johnson, GM's executive vice president, said during the presentation.

Additional Michigan investments include: $32 million for the Flint Assembly plant for future production of the heavy-duty Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups; $17 million for the Romulus facility to bolster GM's 10-speed automatic transmission output; $3.5 million for the Orion Assembly plant to produce more Bolt EV test vehicles for Cruise; and $750,000 for the Brownstown Township facility to support Orion.

GM's vision of an all-electric future

The investments continue a pattern of GM shifting its prior manufacturing footprint from internal-combustion vehicles to EVs.

"In the last 19 months, GM has committed to invest more than $4.5 billion at three US manufacturing sites to prepare those facilities for EV-related vehicle production," the company said in a statement.

Last December, GM announced a joint venture with South Korea's LG Chem to invest $2.3 billion into a battery factory in Ohio, near the location of a manufacturing facility in Lordstown that the company shut down in 2019.

The venture was christened Ultium Cells LLC, a reference to GM's Ultium battery technology launched at the beginning of 2020, just before the coronavirus struck the US and compelled GM to idle all production for more than a month.