DETROIT (WYTV) – General Motors announced Tuesday that it will invest an additional $1 billion in U.S. manufacturing operations.
Although the announcement offered few specifics, word from GM about creating 1,000 new jobs is being welcomed locally.
“It keeps the economy rolling and again… and that’s what we want here in this country,” said UAW Local 1714 President Bob Morales.
The investments follow $2.9 billion announced in 2016 and more than $21 billion GM has invested in its U.S. operations since 2009.
A release from the automaker does not say where the money will go but claims the move is part of GM’s four-year-old effort to streamline its operations.
“As the U.S. manufacturing base increases its competitiveness, we are able to further increase our investment, resulting in more jobs for America and better results for our owners,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “The U.S. is our home market and we are committed to growth that is good for our employees, dealers, and suppliers and supports our continued effort to drive shareholder value.”
The new investments cover multiple new vehicle, advanced technology, and component projects. A combination of 1,500 new and retained jobs are tied to the new investments. Details of individual projects will be announced throughout the year.
The company also announced it will begin work on insourcing axle production for its next-generation full-size pickup trucks, including work previously done in Mexico, to operations in Michigan, creating 450 U.S. jobs.
The announcement does come just weeks after President-elect Donald Trump chastised the corporation for importing Chevy Cruzes from Mexico — while praising other companies scrapping plans to move out of the country.
“My take on it is, if anything, the timing of the announcement and to try and maybe prevent any further bad PR to the company,” said Youngstown State University Economics Professor A.J. Sumell.
While Tuesday’s announcement won’t cancel the elimination of Lordstown’s third shift at the end of this week, union leaders like Morales remain optimistic that more production could one day be sent here.
“As of right now, we’re just positioning ourselves to be able to raise our hands for future product and say, ‘Look, General Motors, we’re doing what we need to do here,'” Morales said. T
GM announced in a news release that it created 25,000 jobs in the U.S.- adding $3 billion in annual wages. At the same time, the company reduced more than 15,000 positions outside the U.S., bringing most of those jobs to American, according to the release.
GM has also been facilitating its supplier base to do the same. The company has been executing a strategy to create supplier parks adjacent to its U.S. manufacturing sites, including the facility in Lordstown. Supplier parks locating near assembly plants result in significant savings from reduced transportation costs, higher quality communications and continuous improvement activities as suppliers are located closer to the final assembly location, according to the release.
In addition, GM is confirming that another supplier has committed to making components for GM’s next-generation full-size pickup trucks in Michigan, moving 100 supplier jobs from Mexico to the U.S