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GM poised to unveil to 'Factory Zero'


Kalea Hall Daniel Howes   | The Detroit News

Detroit — General Motors Co. on Friday is poised to rename its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant "Factory Zero," according to two sources familiar with the matter, a sign of GM's deepening commitment to an electric future that insiders call "zero zero zero."

Detroit-Hamtramck, GM's first fully dedicated electric vehicle plant, internally has been dubbed Factory Zero as it continues a push toward a future of what the automaker calls "zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion." GM plans to spend $20 billion on electric and autonomous vehicle technology through 2025. That includes producing 20 electric vehicles by 2023, among them the GMC Hummer EV to be built at D-Ham late next year.

An event scheduled for Friday — featuring Gerald Johnson, GM's executive vice president of global manufacturing — aims to provide an update on the plant as it undergoes construction. But sources confirmed to The Detroit News that the automaker also plans to reveal the plant's new name.

"GM is hosting a press event Friday morning at our Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, a facility that is being converted to build electric trucks and SUVs," spokesman Dan Flores said in the statement. "This event will be another milestone in our journey to an all-electric future.  We are not sharing details of what will be announced at the event in advance." 

Mike Plater, shop chairman for United Auto Workers Local 22 representing Detroit-Hamtramck workers, is in the plant every day and said: "Things are going well right now. Everything is on schedule and on time as far as demolition and construction,"

A new name and a next-generation electrified future for the plant bordering the cities of Detroit and Hamtramck is a sharp contrast to plans for its future in November 2018 —when GM labeled the plant "unallocated," essentially marking it for closure. 

"We're just excited that D-Ham is going to remain open, based on what we went through in the past," Plater said, "and we are looking forward to new product and our members having some job security." 

GM announced a $2.2 billion investment at the plant following the end of negotiations with the UAW last fall after a 40-day strike. In addition to the Hummer EV, the plant will also be home to the Cruise Origin, an autonomous electric shuttle made by Cruise LLC, GM and Honda Motor Co. 

The 4.1 million-square-foot Detroit-Hamtramck plant first opened in 1985. It's built more than 4 million vehicles including the Cadillac Eldorado, Seville, DeVille, Pontiac Bonneville, Chevrolet Volt, Buick LeSabre and Oldsmobile Toronado/Trofeo.

The last Chevrolet Impalas rolled off the line there in February. 

khall@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @bykaleahall

daniel.howes@detroitnews.com