General Motors announced today plans to invest ~$154 million in its Western New York Lockport Components plant to renovate the facility and purchase and install new machinery and equipment used in the production of the stator module. Stators are key components in an electric motor. Electric motors will be used in a variety – currently 30 – of GM’s future Ultium Platform-based electric trucks and SUVs. Facility renovations begin immediately.
EV production – particularly final assembly is a huge concern for unions globally. “It’s pretty easy to build an EV since there are fewer components, and there are no EPA requirements or fluids,” Joe McCabe the CEO of AutoForecast Solutions told AutoInformed at a meeting of the International Motor Press Association earlier this week. Robots or non-skilled labor can do most of the work. (read AutoInformed on GM Cuts More Deals on Materials, Factories for EV Motors)
It’s the latest step in the EV sourcing wars that are underway at all automakers since Global Warming requires the conversion of virtually all transportation modes to EVs. Lurking in the background of this issue is a larger national security problem that sees China spending twice as much on research and development as the US. A bill to restore and increase US government sponsored scientific R&D has passed the Senate but is being held up by infighting among Democrats in the House of Representatives, which is representative of our ongoing politically-based dysfunctional government. See David Leonard of the New York Times.
As Lockport prepares for electric motor component production, the plant will continue to build a variety of components that support GM’s current truck and SUV production. It currently produces radiators, condensers, heater cores, evaporators, HVAC modules, oil coolers and other parts used in a variety of GM trucks. GM currently estimates Lockport Components will add approximately 230 positions between 2023 and 2026. Actual staffing levels will come closer to the start of production as the facility transitions to support EV motor component production.
Lockport Components was founded in 1910 as the Harrison Radiator Company for the purpose of designing, manufacturing, and selling automotive radiators and components. With more than 1,500 employees, the site is represented by UAW Locals 686 and 55.
- GM to Invest in New Battery Building to Lower EV Costs
- Chevrolet Introduces 2024 Silverado EV
- IndustriALL Endorses Global Agreements to Fight and Shape Policy on the Growing Number of Auto Plant Closures
- IndustriALL – Organizing the Growing Battery Supply Chain
Previously announced GM supply chain collaborations:
- Controlled Thermal Resources (CTR) for lithium
- GE Renewable Energy for rare earth materials for EV motor magnets
- Wolfspeed for silicon carbide for power electronics
- Nucor Corporation for EV structural components
- POSCO for a joint venture to build a processing facility in North America for Cathode Active Material (or CAM)