DETROIT -- General Motors will throw a bone to President Donald Trump on Friday by announcing an investment in its electric-car plant north of Detroit after enduring days of intense criticism for idling an Ohio factory.
The investment is valued at $300 million, according to two people familiar with the plans cited by Reuters.
The sources also said GM will announce plans for a new electric compact vehicle for Chevrolet, and the automaker will formally endorse the pending United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.
GM on Thursday said in a media advisory that it would announce news on Friday along with the UAW and local government officials at its factory in Orion Township, Mich. The company said only that it’s making “major new investment focused on the development of GM future technologies” at the facility that builds fully electric Chevrolet Bolt cars. CEO Mary Barra is expected to attend, a company spokesman said.
GM would not comment on the Reuters report.
Jeff Schuster, a forecasting analyst at LMC Automotive expects GM to add up to four new EVs to the plant’s manufacturing mix over the next several years to make good on promises to electrify more of its lineup. “It’s essentially an all-electric story with an investment in EVs across several brands.”
Building an all-new electric vehicle in Orion would underscore GM’s gradual shift away from gasoline-fueled cars toward battery-powered models. The investment announcement will come at a time when the company is wrangling with the UAW and Trump over ending production at a car plant about a four-hour drive away in Lordstown, Ohio.
After lambasting GM on Twitter over the weekend, Trump held a rally Wednesday in Lima, Ohio, where he again told the carmaker to either reopen the factory or offload it to a company that will.
“Get that plant open or sell it to somebody and they’ll open it,” Trump said. “Get it going now.”