DETROIT – General Motors plans to invest more than $ 1 billion in Mexico to manufacture electric vehicles, the company announced on Thursday.
The investment in the Ramos Arizpe manufacturing complex marks the automaker’s first major announcement to produce electric vehicles in Mexico after confirmed billions in investments in the US and Canada.
The facility will produce at least one electric vehicle from 2023, GM said. The company declined to discuss which vehicle or vehicles will be produced there. The plant and supporting facilities currently produce the Chevrolet Equinox and Chevrolet Blazer, as well as engines and transmissions.
GM’s announcement comes amid pressure from the Biden administration that automakers should expand American manufacturing, including electric vehicles. GM did not announce whether the electric vehicles would be imported into the US. However, the products currently made at the factory are sold in America.
Terry Dittes, vice president of United Auto Workers, called the investment a “slap in the face” for its union members and US taxpayers as the company is one of many lobbying for government incentives to support electric vehicles.
“At a time when General Motors is demanding a substantial investment by the US government in subsidizing electric vehicles, this is a slap in the face not just for UAW members and their families, but also for US taxpayers and the American workforce.” he said in a statement.
Dittes said tax dollars should “not go to companies that employ workers outside the US while benefiting from US government subsidies.”
In the press release, Francisco Garza, CEO of GM in Mexico, thanked federal and local governments for “encouraging” the investment. The company did not disclose specific details of government support.
The investment includes new capacity for battery packs and other electronic components such as electric motors, which will begin in the second half of the year. According to a translated press release from the company, a new paint shop is also due to open in June.
The Ramos Arizpe plant is expected to become GM’s fifth manufacturing facility in North America to manufacture electric vehicles after announcing two plants in Michigan and others in Tennessee and Ontario, Canada.
GM is expected to continue building or remodeling plants around the world to evolve into an automaker exclusively electric vehicle by 2035. That includes at least 30 new electric vehicles by 2025 as part of a $ 27 billion investment plan for electric and autonomous vehicles in these timeframes.