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GM to announce $300 million to invest in the Orion-EV/AV plant

(Reuters) – General Motors Co will announce on Friday plans to invest $300 million in a suburb of Detroit plant that builds electric and self-driving vehicles for Chevrolet, and the automaker’s self-drive Cruise unit, two people familiar with the plans said on Thursday.

The GM logo is seen at the General Motors plant in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, January 22, 2019. REUTERS/Roosevelt Cassio

The largest AMERICAN automaker is expected to announce plans for the construction of a new electric compact vehicle for Chevy, said the people, who asked not to be identified.

GM executives were also formally endorsement of a revised North American free trade deal known as USMCA, the sources said.

GM declined to comment.

Managers will be expected to make the case that the new EV – originally considered to be one of GM’s Chinese plant is being built in the United States as a result of the new trade deal that is still pending approval by the U.S. Congress.

GM has come under heavy attack from President Donald Trump about her decision until the end of production at the Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant.

On Thursday, the company said business leaders would be assembled at the Orion plant by the United Auto Workers union Vice-President Terry Dittes and officials of the government to announce “a significant new investment focused on the development of GM technologies of the future.” GM Chief Executive Mary Barra is expected to make the formal announcement, which could add hundreds of jobs.

The new Chevy of the vehicle is based on the same compact architecture as the Chevrolet Bolt EV and the Cruise AV, which are mounted in the constellation of Orion.

The Orion Township plant is scheduled to begin with the build of a new generation of electric and self-driving vehicles, the use of GM’s dedicated BEV3 architecture, but it is not until 2023, a third source said.

GM said a year ago it would invest $100 million to upgrade the Orion Township plant ahead of the commercial production of the Cruise AV at the end of 2019.

Competitor Ford Motor Co this week said that the planned expansion of its Flat Rock plant outside of Detroit to add production of electric vehicles. Ford’s first self-driving vehicles will be assembled in the neighbourhood in a still secret location.

Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit and David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Dan Grebler

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