GM Will Build Upcoming Electric Pickup Truck in Detroit, Batteries at Brand-New Factory in Ohio

EV production could resuscitate at least one of two facilities originally scheduled to close, but GM and the UAW must first sign a contract.

byRob Stumpf|
Electric Vehicles photo

General Motors plans to build its future electric pickup truck in Detroit, a source familiar with the matter who chose to remain anonymous confirmed to The Drive on Monday afternoon.

The manufacturing plans are said to be dependent on the culmination of ongoing contract negotiation between GM and the United Auto Workers (UAW), which as of Monday morning involved nearly 50,000 workers walking out from GM manufacturing facilities nationwide. Should the two come to amicable terms involving GM's current offer, it would effectively breathe life into the manufacturer's aging Detroit-Hamtramck facility and derail the plans to close the facility in the coming months.

While GM's statement on the UAW strike confirmed that the automaker is looking to revive its unallocated Detroit-Hamtramck and Lordstown, Ohio assembly plants, it didn't specifically outline what those plans entailed. However, a source familiar with the contract told The Drive that GM's offer included building its upcoming electric pickup at the Detroit-Hamtramck facility.

Contrary to previous reports, GM is not expected to re-purpose its Lordstown plant as a battery production facility. The same source confirmed that GM instead plans to find another location in the Mahoning Valley where it will build a new factory to handle battery production for the pickup, which will also play a key role in its new vehicle and propulsion programs.

As for the fate of the existing Lordstown plant, GM is reportedly still in talks to with Lordstown Motors, a local startup which plans to procure the facility to build its own electric pickup truck built on Workhorse underpinnings. The Lordstown Motors pickup is said to have no affiliation with GM's upcoming EV.

GM previously stated that it expects electric pickup trucks to be at least a decade away from becoming mainstream, however, it does plan to release 20 all-new electric vehicles within the next five years. Currently, it isn't clear if the prospective Mahoning Valley plant will be involved in the battery development or production for these new EVs.

It's important to note that without a contract, GM's plans aren't set in stone and could change should the terms of its offer to the UAW change. For now, it's safe to say that GM's long-term plans include the revival of at least one of its previously doomed facilities and the opening of a brand new battery plant in Ohio.