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GM Makes 'Single Largest' Investment In Detroit-Hamtramck Plant For Next Gen Chevy Volt

DETROIT (WWJ) General Motors is making a big investment in its Detroit-Hamtramk plant -- $385 million -- to prepare for production of the next generation Chevrolet Volt and two other products.

"Today's investment represents the largest single investment that we have made in the plant," said GM Manufacturing Vice President Gerald Johnson.

The company is also investing $65 million in its Brownstown Township battery plant.  That will prepare the facility to produce a new generation of batteries for the Volt and other EV's.

Johnson wouldn't confirm earlier reports that this investment would mean 1,400 new jobs, and a second shift at Detroit-Hamtramk.

"Certainly we'd expect these investments to drive some new hiring, as well as to retain the work force we now have in place," he said.  We're not willing to commit to you today whether we'll have a second shift or not.  We certainly hope so.  But the market will tell us what to do."

The announcement was made at a meeting of the Automotive Press Association, attended by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.

"In so many ways, you're re-investing in Michigan," said Snyder.  "I think that's a great message."

Snyder pointed out that he's been to a lot of investment announcements recently.

"Detroit, Michigan is still the epicenter of the auto industry," he said.

And this investment comes as Duggan is trying to attract new business to the city.

"When you see GM putting the investment here in future products, it shows they have confidence in the men and women making those cars in Detroit, and have confidence in the future of this community."

Detroit-Hamtramk already builds the Chevrolet Impala, Malibu and Volt, as well as the Opel Ampera--the Volt's sister vehicle in Europe.

GM's Gerald Johnson cited competitive reasons for not talking about the new products that are coming to the plant, but promised the new Volt -- expected on the market around 2016 -- will have several improvements.

"I have obviously seen the next generation Volt.  I think the customer who drive the Volt and see the Volt are going to be very impressed with the next generation product," Johnson said.

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