What GM’s upcoming Lansing EV battery plant means for Mid-Michigan’s economy
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - General Motors announced Tuesday morning it would be investing more than $7 billion in Michigan.
It’s the largest job investment in the company’s history. The investment is expected to retain 1,000 jobs and create 4,000 more.
With strikes, the COVID pandemic and the chip shortage, those working for automakers have had a difficult few years.
Officials with United Auto Workers Local 602 said that in an industry where stability is so rare, GM’s investment feels like a new chapter.
“We kind of pinpointed it a while back that this possibly could be what was coming, but the reaction once it finally, today, got full closure of what it was... it’s a great feeling,” said UAW Local 602 chairman Jeffrey Kosloski. “At the same time, we knew there were big investments coming to Lansing and that’s always a good thing -- especially in our line of work.”
“That provides stability for an autoworker,” said UAW Local 602 president Mike Huerta. “Which, in this industry, is exceptionally rare but it’s also testament to the workforce in that facility.”
In addition to the new EV battery plant in Lansing, GM plans to spend up-to $4 billion converting and expanding its Orion Township factory to make electric pickups. GM currently employs more than 50,000 people in Michigan and that number is expected to grow.
The new jobs will have a ripple effect throughout Mid-Michigan’s economy. Municipal officials said they’re excited to see the plan start unfolding.
Lansing Mayor Andy Schor said the investment is great news for the automotive industry, but it’s even better news for Mid-Michigan.
“We’ll see direct benefit. We’re going to see jobs, we’re going to see economic development with $2.5 billion and another half million,” Schor said. “We’re going to see supplemental jobs, so this is a tremendously exciting day for the city of Lansing.”
UAW officials said that investing in Michigan’s automotive industry will only create more jobs in the future, with each new job bringing two more jobs with it, which -- in turn -- creates even more jobs within the community.
“Putting a battery plant on there is will be the starting step to more jobs and more future investments and more future expansions,” Kosloski said.
Municipal leaders said the investment couldn’t have happened without Michigan’s autoworkers.
“It’s great for the city, it’s great for the state,” Schor said. “And it’s great for those who are going to buy these cars in the future. They’ll be made right here in Lansing by the best workers in the world.”
The project is expected to start summer 2022. Battery production is scheduled to start in 2024.
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