Michigan tries to woo GM for battery factories

michigan tries to woo gm for battery factories

There’s been plenty of consternation in Michigan in the month since Ford Motor Co. chose Kentucky and Tennessee for two huge battery-making campuses it’s planning.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer even said the automaker never gave its home state a “real opportunity” to be considered for the projects, which represent $11.4 billion in investment.

Now state officials are turning their attention to General Motors as it decides where to put two more battery plants, in addition to those under construction in Lordstown, Ohio, and Spring Hill, Tenn. GM President Mark Reuss last week said the plants would be in the U.S. and that he expects the company to decide exactly where within six months.

Is Michigan in the running?


“Of course,” Reuss told reporters in Washington last week, “because if you look at where our plants are, our regular assembly plants for electric vehicles, there’s a big component of transportation of cells and packs to put into cars that are built in our assembly plants.

“So we’d like to lessen that transportation cost. … We’ll look at all states and all places that are interested in having it there, though; we will do that from a due diligence standpoint.”

Until the decisions are made, Reuss and others at GM can count on getting a hard sell from Michigan officials worried that the Motor City’s influence over the auto industry will wane further in the electric vehicle era.

Asked if he had a message for the state, Reuss said: “Not publicly, no. I would say that I think the state of Michigan is doing a good job in telling us there that they would love to have one.”


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