General Motors announces $632 million investment in Fort Wayne Assembly plant
General Motors is investing $632 million in its Fort Wayne Assembly Plant, primarily for the full production of Electric Vehicles or EV trucks.
Assistant Plant Director Cherry Weiland said the money will ease worry by having the plant continue to produce internal combustion engine, or ICE, trucks while preparing to more widely produce EV trucks.
“Whenever we turn over to a new vehicle, we have to do different tooling to build that vehicle," Weiland said. "So, most of it will go into the tooling. We have current building available after our last expansion that makes us much more flexible and able to turn quicker. So, the majority will be in tooling.”
This announcement came less than a week after the plant celebrated producing and selling its 10-millionth truck in 37 years. Officials said that pace makes the plant the fastest-working GM plant in the country.
In a statement, the Indiana Economic Development Alliance said the investment will “support new conveyors, tooling and equipment in the plant’s body and general assembly areas.”
Since 2013, GM has invested more than $2 billion in Indiana manufacturing.
Weiland said the investment both eases worry and lays the groundwork for the future.
"With all the buzz around electrification of vehicles, for our membership, it's a little bit uncertain building a gas or diesel engine and knowing that GM is investing so much in our electric future," Weiland said. "So, with today's announcement, it's important to understand we have to have a blended strategy. We have to continue to build the internal combustion engines because we know some people still want those as we continue to grow our EV future at the same time. To some extent, it helps fund the EV future.”
Indiana Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch said the State of Indiana is using federal funds to prepare for future EV's as well.
“The State of Indiana is actively engaged in putting in place those charging stations so that we can support those electric vehicles of the future,” Crouch said.
Weiland said Fort Wayne Assembly will continue to produce internal combustion engine trucks for at least the next 10 years before EV production takes over. She also said the EV's the plan produces will still be trucks.