General Motors announced plans to invest $1 billion in Mexico to produce electric vehicles. The decision comes even as the Biden administration pushed for more American companies to invest on American soil.
$1 Billion in Mexico Plant
GM will pour its investment into its Ramos Arizpe production complex in Mexico. Beginning 2023, it will start the production of at least two electric vehicle models, which remain unidentified. Currently, the Ramos Arizpe plant and nearby facilities produce the Chevrolet Equinox and Chevrolet Blazer. They also manufacture many engines and transmission systems.
Even as President Joe Biden advocated for more local investments, especially in green initiatives such as EVs. Instead, GM went forward with upgrading its Mexico plant to make it ready for EV production.
The automaker did not disclose if the EVs targeted for production in Mexico will cater to the US market. At present though, GM imports the cars made in Ramos Arizpe for sale in the US.
Slap In The Face
Meanwhile, United Auto Workers Vice President Terry Dittes called GM’s investment of $1 billion in Mexico a “slap in the face” to auto union members and American taxpayers. “At a time when General Motors is asking for a significant investment by the US government in subsidizing electric vehicles, this is a slap in the face for not only UAW members and their families but also for U.S. taxpayers and the American workforce,” he said in a statement.
Dittes said companies that utilize labor outside the United States should receive government subsidies. Since GM sells Mexican-made in the United States, American workers should make them. “That is why our nation is investing in these companies.
Taxpayer money should not go to companies that utilize labor outside the U.S. while benefiting from American government subsidies. This is not America any of us signed on for. Frankly, it is unseemly,” he said.
GM Should Reaffirm Their Commitment to the US
Even lawmakers reacted to GM’s decision. Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI) issued a statement voicing her displeasure.
“Not one American dollar should support our own jobs being shipped off to Mexico — especially when we have the workers and the technology to manufacture the best vehicles of the future here at home. General Motors needs to reaffirm their commitment to working, American families,” she wrote.
The automotive giant defended its decision to invest $1 billion in Mexico by saying it’s just one of many investments. In fact, three out of its five committed expansion programs will happen in the US.
In a statement, GM said the Mexico project is the latest of five new facilities that will produce electric vehicles. The four other plants are located in Spring Hill, Tennessee; Detroit and Orion Township in Michigan; and Ontario, Canada.
Other Investments Will Create Union Jobs
GM said that its three US investments will create new union jobs.“General Motors is committed to creating good-paying US jobs as we transition to an all-electric future and our recent announcements are proof of that commitment,” said Dan Flores, GM spokesman.
“In fact, we recently announced nearly 9,000 jobs and more than $9 billion in new electric vehicle or battery cell manufacturing facilities in Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee,” he added.
However, some of the new jobs might now qualify as union jobs. GM will assume manufacturing at some of the plants as a joint venture. For the jobs to become union jobs, the UAW will need to organize unions in these plants and negotiate a separate contract.
GM Thanks Mexico For Support
Meanwhile, General Motors CEO for Mexico Operations Francisco Garza issues a release thanking both federal and local governments for “promoting” the investment. However, GM did not specifically share details of the government support but it did share what facilities will open.
GM expansion plans in Ramos Arizpe include new facilities to manufacture two EVs. It will also create manufacturing space for battery packs, electric motors, and other components. In addition, GM will start operations this year for a new paint shop.
After Mexico, GM will continue building or converting existing plants to EV facilities globally. It targets to completely transform into an all_EV manufacturer by 2035. The ambitious program includes the production of at least 30 new EVs by 2025 under a $27 billion investment plan.
Watch the WXYZ TV – Detroit news video reporting that GM’s electric future plan raises job concerns for some UAW members:
Do you agree with GM’s decision to invest $1 billion in Mexico for their EV production? Or, do you feel they should have opened more plants in the US to generate new jobs for Americans?
Tell us what you think. Share your comments in the comment section below.