GM is reportedly considering expanding EV production to its existing Ramos Arizpe plant in northern Mexico.
General Motors (GM) and other major American automakers have long had a presence South of the United States. Even now, vehicles like the Chevy Trax, Jeep Compass, and the ever-popular Chevy Silverado are produced en masse across the border in Mexico. Now, the most prominent American auto group is also considering expanding its EV production to Mexico.
The Mexican Economic Ministry announced that GM would be expanding EV production to the country via a tweet showing leaders from both parties discussing it yesterday.
La Sria. de Economía, Raquel Buenrostro, se reunió con General Motors. Informaron que en 2024 su complejo industrial de Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila, producirá solo vehículos eléctricos. Anunciaron el incremento de 5 mil empleos, fomentando la inclusión de género en su plantilla. pic.twitter.com/qatRlGLLwO
— Economía México (@SE_mx) January 3, 2023
The first tweet reads:
“The [Economic Minister], Raquel Buenrostro, met with General Motors. They reported that by 2024 their industrial complex in Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila, will produce only electric vehicles. They announced the increase of 5,000 jobs, promoting the inclusion of gender in their workforce.”
The second tweet clarifies, saying:
“The increase in jobs has been generated during this six-year term in the San Luis Potosí and Ramos Arizpe plants, resulting in a total of 4,500.”
According to the tweet from the Mexican Ministry, the Ramos Arizpe plant will be shifting to 100% EV production this year and aims to begin full production sometime in 2024. This follows news that GM had been increasing its workforce in Mexico by roughly 4,500, according to a clarifying tweet from the Ministry.
Mexico has become a hotspot for EV production over the past few years. Its location near the United States, cheaper labor, and its access to U.S. Federal EV incentives have made it a prime location for new EV production. This has attracted the likes of Ford and Tesla and is likely influencing brands like GM, Hyundai/Kia, and BMW, which already have significant production facilities in the country.
GM nor the Mexican Economic Ministry specified what vehicles the American auto giant would be producing at its revamped production facility, but it’s possible to make an educated prediction.
The Ramos Arizpe plant currently produces the Chevy Equinox and Chevy Blazer ICE vehicles. And coincidently, both of these vehicles will be available as electric models in the coming years. Hence, with the facility’s familiarity with the products and the production date of 2024 matching the introduction date of the two Chevy EV SUVs, it would not be surprising if they were produced at the revamped facility.
GM has not specified if existing ICE vehicle production lines would be halted. Still, with its recent hiring, one would anticipate that it is opening a new production line for strictly EVs.
It is no surprise that the General chose the Ramos Arizpe plant to produce EVs. Mear miles from Monterey, it is within a stone’s throw of the proposed location for the upcoming Tesla plant. And while GM is likely not basing its decision on its competition’s new location, both automakers have probably been lured to the site not only for the aforementioned cheaper labor and quick access to the U.S. market but also for the safety and infrastructure available in the area.
According to the U.S. State Department travel advisory site, the area of Monterey is safer than other border locations, including Baja California and the State of Tamaulipas. At the same time, the locations chosen by both manufacturers are serviced by one of the largest highways going into the United States, Mexico Route 85/U.S. Interstate 35.
It is a positive sign to see the behemoth of General Motors finally changing course toward electric vehicles. And while its recently announced products have been fantastic to hear about, announcing production changes is more concrete evidence of the change happening behind the scenes. And whatever the company decides to build at its Mexican facility, you can count me as excited to see it come to fruition.
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