GM investing $35 million in Detroit-Hamtramck plant to build Cadillac with Volt-based technology

Posted on October 16, 2012

DETROIT, MI- General Motors Co. will invest $35 million at its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant to build the Cadillac ELR, a luxury coupe featuring extended-range electric technology similar to the Chevrolet Volt.

Production of the vehicle, which debuted as the concept Cadillac Converj at the North American International Auto Show in 2009, is scheduled to begin in late 2013.

“The ELR will be in a class by itself, further proof of our commitment to electric vehicles and advanced technology,” said General Motors North America President Mark Reuss in a statement. “People will instantly recognize it as a Cadillac by its distinctive, signature look and true-to-concept exterior design.”

The ELR, according to officials, will advance the design theme of the Converj and feature an electric propulsion system made up of a T-shaped lithium-ion battery, an electric drive unit, and a four-cylinder engine-generator.

When the battery’s energy is low, the ELR, like the Volt, switches to a gasoline-powered electric generator to allow hundreds of additional driving miles.

The lithium-ion battery will be built at GM’s Brownstown Battery Assembly plant in Brownstown, about 24 miles southwest of Detroit.

The addition of the ELR to Detroit-Hamtramck represents a $35 million investment and increases total product investment to $561 million since December 2009. It is the first two-door car built at the plant since the 1999 Cadillac Eldorado.

United Auto Workers Vice President Joe Ashton, who directs the union’s GM Department said the investment proves the company trusts Local 22 to “successfully build one of the most technologically advanced vehicles in the world.”

“The hard work and dedication of our members demonstrates that we can competitively manufacture products for the future right here in Detroit,” Ashton said in a statement.

The plant’s 1,400 hourly employees also build the the Volt, Opel Ampera, and Holden Volt extended-range electric vehicles; as well as the Chevrolet Malibu. The plant is also scheduled to build the 2014 Chevy Impala.

Reuss was the keynote speaker at the SAE Convergence Conference in Detroit.

Cadillac plans to introduce 10 all-new or significantly redesigned models in the next three years, starting with the recently released XTS full-size sedan and ATS compact.

Michael Wayland, MLive