GM promises electric pickup truck production in union strike negotiation

GM’s union employees are currently on strike over a labor negotiation dispute and the automaker is using the promise of electric pickup truck production at a Detroit factory slated to close in 2020.

The Union of Auto Workers has been protesting GM’s previously announced plans to close several factories and letting go thousands of employees.

After UAW announced that its 50,000 union members who are GM employees would go on strike, the Detroit-based automaker claims that it made an offer that included $7 billion in investments, along with undisclosed solutions for several factories set to shut down, as well as compensation increases for employees, including profit sharing.

Now Automotive News reports that GM’s proposed plan for the factories includes the production of electric pickup trucks and battery cells:

“GM’s offer to the UAW would allocate an electric pickup to the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant and battery cell manufacturing to Lordstown, according to a person familiar with the matter.”

The Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant is where GM currently produces the Cadillac CT6 and the Chevrolet Impala, but the automaker announced earlier this year that it doesn’t have any vehicle allocation starting in 2020.

In several comments over the last year, GM has been tentatively talking about building electric pickup trucks.

As for Lordstown, it’s actually the plant that GM is supposed to sell to Workhorse so the startup could build its own electric pickup trucks.

However, the publication reported:

“Manufacturing battery cells in Lordstown would not affect the potential for a sale to Lordstown Motors, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing private negotiations. The newly formed company, led by former Workhorse Group Inc. CEO Steve Burns, is working to buy the factory.”

GM and UAW said that they are back to the negotiation table.

Electrek’s Take

When it comes to Detroit-Hamtramck, it’s not too surprising.

It’s not new for GM to be threatening to close factories as part of labor negotiations and it’s not like they won’t build the electric pickup trucks.

They are basically forced to after Tesla, Rivian, and Ford have all announced plans to bring electric trucks to market.

I am more surprised about the battery cell manufacturing.

That would be quite a new endeavor for GM, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some confusion by Automotive News or their sources with battery pack manufacturing, which would make more sense.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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