General Motors plans to invest $71 million into two Ohio manufacturing facilities, including $39 million at its Toledo transmission plant and $32 million at its Defiance casting plant. Work will begin immediately at the two locations. The Toledo investment will be used to upgrade and enhance the production of GM’s eight-speed rear-wheel-drive transmission, and the Defiance investment will be used to prepare the facility for future engine casting components work. The investments will enable the company to retain 240 jobs.
General Motors will invest $2.2 billion at its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant to produce a variety of all-electric trucks and SUVs. When the plant is fully operational, this investment will create more than 2,200 manufacturing jobs. GM will also invest an additional $800 million in supplier tooling and other projects related to the launch of the new electric trucks. The company’s first all-electric truck will be a pickup with production scheduled to begin in late 2021. Detroit-Hamtramck will be GM’s first fully dedicated electric-vehicle assembly plant. The plant’s paint and body shops and general assembly area will receive comprehensive upgrades, including new machines, conveyors, controls and tooling.
Ford Motor Co. is investing more than $1.45 billion in two southeast Michigan manufacturing facilities and adding 3,000 new jobs. The company will invest approximately $750 million and add 2,700 new direct jobs at its manufacturing facility in Wayne, Mich., during the next three years. Ford will install new equipment to support production of the all-new Ford Bronco and Ford Ranger and create a new modification center at the Wayne location. Ford will add 300 jobs and invest about $700 million at its Dearborn manufacturing site to support production of new electrified variants of its F-150 truck, producing both an F-150 hybrid and fully electric F-150. The company will also create a new operation in Dearborn where battery cells will be assembled into a battery pack for the F-150 hybrid and all-electric F-150.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Peugeot S.A. (Groupe PSA) signed a binding Combination Agreement providing for a 50/50 merger of their businesses to create the fourth-largest global automotive OEM by volume and third largest by revenue. The combined company will have annual unit sales of 8.7 million vehicles.
Toyota is investing $391 million at its San Antonio truck assembly plant in an effort to better serve customers. The announcement comes as part of a broader commitment from Toyota to invest $13 billion in its U.S. operations over five years through 2021. The investment will make the plant more competitive in the long-term and more efficient while remaining flexible with multi-vehicle production capabilities by introducing various advanced manufacturing technologies. Separately, Aisin AW, a supplier to Toyota Texas and other automakers, will invest $400 million and bring 900 new jobs to a future facility in nearby Cibolo, Texas.
Fives received an order from Baosteel, the largest automotive steel producer in China, to supply the complete thermal portion for a continuous annealing line (CAL) with a production capacity of 630,000 tons per year. The CAL, which aims to produce both standard steel grades and advanced high-strength steels, includes a Stein Digiflex furnace and Celes induction heaters. The first coil is scheduled to be produced by the end of 2021.
Several topics seem to describe the state of the automotive industry at the moment: technology (AI), autonomous, electric and additive manufacturing. Let’s look at what’s happening in each of these areas.