GM to invest $760M in Toledo propulsion plant to make important part for EVs

General Motors will invest $760 million at its Toledo Propulsion Systems plant to prepare it to make drive units that will be used in future GM electric vehicles.

The automaker said Friday that the drive units will be used in the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV, 2024 GMC Sierra EV and current GMC Hummer EVs. GM’s Factory Zero, which straddles Detroit and Hamtramck, is currently building the Hummer and will build the Silverado EV along with Orion Assembly in Orion Township.

Toledo Propulsion Systems will be GM’s first U.S. powertrain or propulsion-related factory transformed for EV-related production. Last week, GM said it will invest $491 million at the GM Marion Stamping plant in Marion, Indiana, to prepare it to make steel and aluminum stamped parts for future vehicles — including EVs — made at various GM assembly plants.

“Our Toledo team has a long, proud history of building great products and they have worked hard to earn this investment,” Gerald Johnson, GM executive vice president of Global Manufacturing and Sustainability, said in a statement. “This investment helps build job security for our Toledo team for years to come.”

GM’s investment is a recognition of UAW Local 14 members “skills, know-how and drive that make GM successful,” said UAW President Ray Curry in a statement.

GM purchased Toledo Propulsion Systems in 1956. It employs 1,500 people and currently builds GM’s six-speed, eight-speed and 10-speed rear-wheel drive and nine-speed front-wheel drive transmissions that are used in various Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles.

But GM has said it will transition to an lineup of all zero-emissions vehicles by 2035 and be a carbon neutral company by 2040. It is in the process of bringing 30 new EVs to the global market by 2025.

As GM transitions to all-electric, CEO Mary Barra has promised to bring all employees along for the transformation. Last year, GM introduced its Automotive Manufacturing Electrical College (AMEC) to teach workers about various aspects of electric car production.

Johnson said the investment in Toledo is an example of GM’s intention to create jobs and retain its current workforce. GM has invested more than $1.9 billion at Toledo since 2011, including Friday’s announced investment.

Renovation work at Toledo Propulsion Systems will begin this month. GM spokesman Dan Flores said the company is not disclosing how long that renovation work will take, but he said once the plant is converted, it will make EV drive units. Those are units that convert electric power from the battery pack to mechanical motion at the wheels. GM’s EV drive units will cover front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive propulsion combinations, including high-performance and off-road capabilities.

The Toledo Propulsion Systems team will continue building internal combustion engine transmission products while building drive units simultaneously during GM’s EV transition.

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Contact Jamie L. LaReau: Follow her on Twitter @jlareauan. Read more on General Motors and sign up for our autos newsletterBecome a subscriber.

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