ORION TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Less than a week after a series of critical tweets from President Donald Trump over an Ohio plant closure, General Motors is announcing plans to add 400 jobs and build a new electric vehicle at a Michigan factory.
The company said Friday it will spend $300 million in Orion Township to build a Chevrolet vehicle based on the battery-powered Bolt.
GM wouldn't say when the workers will start or the vehicle will go on sale. Nor would it say if workers will be new hires or come from a pool of laid-off employees.
GM also announced plans to spend another $1.4 billion at U.S. factories with 300 more jobs but didn't offer details.
"We are excited to bring these jobs and this investment to the U.S.," said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra during an announcement at the plant with employees, elected officials and community leaders. "This new Chevrolet electric vehicle is another positive step toward our commitment to an all-electric future. GM will continue to invest in our U.S. operations where we see opportunities for growth."
The new electric vehicle had been slated for production outside of the U.S. The company wouldn't comment on Trump but said the announcement has been in the works for weeks.
"General Motors is committed to supporting US manufacturing, including the great states of Ohio and Michigan," Barra said.
The moves come after last weekend's string of venomous tweets by President Donald Trump condemning GM for shutting its small-car factory in Lordstown, Ohio, east of Cleveland. During the weekend, Trump demanded that GM reopen the plant or sell it, criticized the local union leader and expressed frustration with CEO Mary Barra.
GM spokesman Dan Flores would not answer questions about Trump but said the investment has been in the works for weeks. Indeed, GM has said it planned to build more vehicles off the underpinnings of the Bolt, which can go an estimated 238 miles on a single electric charge. The company has promised to introduce 20 new all-electric vehicles globally by 2023.
Orion Assembly currently builds the Chevrolet Bolt EV, Chevrolet Sonic and the Cruise AV test vehicles. The plant currently employs about 880 hourly and 130 salaried employees. Including the new investment, GM has invested nearly $1 billion at Orion Assembly since 2009.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.