ORION TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Less than a week after a series of critical tweets from the president over the Lordstown factory idle, General Motors announces plans to add 400 jobs and build a new electric vehicle at a factory north of Detroit.
The company says it will spend $ 300 million in its factory in Orion Township, Michigan, to manufacture a Chevrolet vehicle based on the battery-powered bolt.
GM did not want to say when the new workers will start or when the new vehicle will be for sale, nor would it say whether the workers will be new leases or come from a pool of redundant workers from the planned vacancies on four US factories in January.
The company also announced plans on Friday morning to spend about $ 1
The moves come after last week's strictly poisonous tweets by President Donald Trump, condemning GM's idle at the Lordstown factory where the Chevy Cruze was made. During the weekend, Trump demanded that GM re-open the plant or sell it, criticizing local Union leader Dave Green, and expressed frustration with CEO Mary Barra.
GM spokesman Dan Flores said the investment has been in the works for weeks. In fact, GM has said it is planning to build more vehicles off the bolt's surface, which can be estimated 238 miles on a single electric charge. The company has promised to introduce 20 new all-electric vehicles globally by 2023.
In November, GM announced that they would live in the four US factories, including Lordstown and one in Canada. Ca. 3,300 workers in the United States will lose their jobs as well as 2,600 in Canada. Another 8,000 employees were targeted at dismissal. The company said the movements needed to remain financially sound as GM faced huge investment costs for switching to electric and autonomous vehicles. Plants slated for closure also include Detroit-Hamtramck, Michigan; Warren, Michigan; White Marsh, Maryland, near Baltimore; and Oshawa, Ontario, near Toronto. The factories produce mostly cars or components for them, and cars do not sell as well these days as trucks and SUVs. With the closures, GM disables several car models due to falling sales, including the Chevrolet Volt plug-in gas-electric hybrid.
GM has said it can place about 2,700 of the dismissed American workers at other factories, but it is unclear how many will move up and take those positions. More than 1,100 have already been transferred and others are retiring.
"We are currently focused on Lordstown's people and make sure they have opportunities because we have jobs". Barra told reporters after today's announcement. "We want every person in Lordstown to be within the GM family, and that's what we're working on."
The United Auto Workers have sued GM over the closures, which still have to be negotiated with the association.
"I do not want to spoil a big occasion here today. But there are hardships among four of our locations. And we have made it clear that we disagree with it." UAW Vice President Terry Dittes said.
Trump's latest GM tweet on Monday said GM should: "Close a plant in China or Mexico where you invested so high pre-trump," and "Bring home jobs!"
"I understand much of the anxiety that people feel and I feel it too," Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Friday. "And I want to make sure GM knows that their investment here in Michigan is encouraged and welcomed and appreciated. And we continue to do so."
Ohio and the area around the Lordstown plant are important for Trumps 2020 re-election bid. The state helped push him to victory in 2016 and Trump has focused on Lordstown and rarely mentions the other US factories that GM is slated to close.
"General Motors is committed to supporting American production, including the great states of Ohio and Michigan," said Barra, claiming that she does not see further redundancies or plant closures in late 2020 .