Final confirmation on the rumored Hummer revival will have to wait for a 2020 Super Bowl commercial.
General Motors is dropping a cool $2.2 billion to retool its Detroit-Hamtramck plant so that it can build its first new electric pickups there by the end of 2021. Included among those trucks (and SUVs!) will be models wearing Chevrolet, GMC, and Cadillac badges—plus one that revives the Hummer name. And, for the first time, GM “previewed” the trucks at an announcement in Michigan outlining its plans for the Hamtramck facility, using a thin blue outline of a truck on a backdrop behind a podium at which GM President Mark Reuss and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer spoke.
The plant also will build the toaster-shaped Cruise Origin, a self-driving, ride-sharing van-pod, starting in early 2022. The Origin was first shown last week at an event in San Francisco, by Cruise, the autonomous driving startup that is majority-owned by GM and sees involvement from Honda. GM, by the way, plans to introduce 20 electric nameplates by 2023.
With this announcement, Detroit-Hamtramck becomes GM’s first plant dedicated to making only electric vehicles, all of which will ride on the automaker’s new flexible electrical architecture. The platform can support small, medium and large vehicles; short and long wheelbases; wide and narrow tracks; high and low load floors; low and high roof heights; base models and trucks with full off-road capability and trailering capability. The new EV platform supports advanced powertrains, safety systems and connectivity, working in conjunction with a battery lab in Warren, Michigan, and the joint venture with LG Chem to make battery cells in Lordstown, Ohio.
“GM’s vision of the future is all electric,” GM President Mark Reuss said at an event at the plant, and Hamtramck will be GM’s most technically advanced plant. Reuss reiterated that the trucks and SUVs to come will be scalable with multiple brands and variants at different price points.
“Whether we are the first on the market I don’t know but we will be the best,” Reuss said, and be more agile than many in flexibility, speed and scale.
Reuss would not confirm reports that GM is reviving the Hummer name on at least a pickup that will be sold under the GMC brand. Confirmation will come on the weekend in a SuperBowl ad, it seems. The ad reportedly will feature Lebron James with electric Hummer trucks and SUVs, reprising the name of a brand GM offered from 1999 to 2010. He also did not clarify when the Cadillac electric midsize crossover is due—the automaker has previously said the Cadillac EV would be the first vehicle to come from the new electric architecture. Cadillac showed a concept of the crossover at the 2019 North American International Auto Show.
Currently, the Detroit-Hamtramck plant makes the Cadillac CT6 and Chevrolet Impala but production is winding down for those cars, with both being phased out entirely by the end of February to allow for the plant’s retooling to make electric vehicles.
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