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Another piece of the puzzle starts to fall into place

General Motors will invest $43 million to create a highly automated battery facility that "will produce the lithium ion battery packs for GM's future extended-range electrical vehicles, including the Chevrolet Volt". The company will use an existing building located approximately 15 miles south of Detroit in Brownstown Township.

The factory will use lithium-ion battery cells shipped to the US from LG Chem in South Korea and assemble them into battery packs. The battery pack will be the most crucial element for the Chevrolet Volt, which is scheduled to go into production at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant late next year. GM has been testing battery packs using cells from LG Chem since August of 2006.

"The design, development and production of advanced batteries must be a core competency for GM, and we've been rapidly building our capability and resources to support this direction," stated GM's former Chairman Rick Wagoner last year.

"This is a further demonstration of our commitment to the electrification of the automobile and to the Chevrolet Volt - a commitment that now totals more than $1 billion."

The Chevy Volt, which GM claims can achive 230 mpg in city driving, is one of General Motors' most important new products as it tries to shift to electrified vehicles.

The close proximity to the Volt assembly plant was a major factor in choosing the location, as was the ease of conversion into its new role. The new facility is expected to create over 100 new jobs when it begins production next year.

LG Chem's CEO Peter Kim has previously stated that it may produce lithium-ion battery cells in Michigan if there is enough demand. That would be additional good news for Michigan, which is suffering from an unemployment rate in excess of 15 percent.



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Ridiculous
By mdogs444 on 8/13/09, Rating: 0
RE: Ridiculous
By Bender 123 on 8/13/2009 9:29:36 AM , Rating: 2
I would like to see it as well, but if you remember, there was US company (Mass. I think...?) that received a lot of press a few months ago, during the bidding process, to make an advanced battery system. I cant even recall the name, but the issue was that they could not ramp up to meet the quantities needed for the Volt in time for the cars launch.

GM specifically told them to get their systems up and running at a high level for future needs. The company, if I recall also got a huge govt grant to get their systems built out, earlier this year.

As of right now, there is no US company that could meet the demand for batteries, so LG was chosen. Assembly is here, but the supplier could always change.


RE: Ridiculous
By Bender 123 on 8/13/2009 9:32:41 AM , Rating: 2
Heres the article...Sorry to be late on it...A123 is he company.

http://www.dailytech.com/GM+to+Assemble+Volt+Batte...


RE: Ridiculous
By TomZ on 8/13/2009 10:13:28 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Perhaps the slogan "Heartbeat of America" really has no meaning anymore for GM.
That's a cheap shot - I would expect better from you.

In reality, I would guess they are being sourced from South Korea due to (a) lower labor costs, (b) lower material costs, and (c) less stringent environmental regulations. Both these factors are choices that we Americans made and that GM has no control over.

Sure, the government could meddle more in trade as you suggest they should, but there are almost always unintended consequences. History has proved this time and time again.


RE: Ridiculous
By Keeir on 8/13/2009 11:44:37 AM , Rating: 2
No...

In this case the other post was correct.

The primary reason LG was chosen as the supplier was the lower risk associated with them. LG consistently ment or exceeded deadlines and demonstrated capacity for order, before getting it.

The American Company A123, had what most consider a better technical product, but didn't satisfy the risk counters... shrug.


RE: Ridiculous
By 67STANG on 8/13/2009 11:47:24 AM , Rating: 2
I also heard that they would not be able to meet the output needed, since they are a start-up.


RE: Ridiculous
By Masospaghetti on 8/13/2009 11:54:49 AM , Rating: 3
While I would have also preferred A123 to get the contract, imagine how bad it would sound if GM had to delay the Volt (multiple times) because of problems associated with the battery cells. Even though it wouldn't be GM's fault, the media coverage would be devestating. The Volt is simply too important to have risks out of GM's control.


RE: Ridiculous
By mdogs444 on 8/13/2009 12:27:14 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
That's a cheap shot - I would expect better from you.

No, Tom...you know what a cheap shot is? Taking billions and billions of dollars in bailouts from middle class Americans, and putting that money towards a product that most of the taxpayers cannot afford, while not using it to create as many jobs and bring the manufacturing back to America like the majority of the people here want.

quote:
Sure, the government could meddle more in trade as you suggest they should,

I'm suggesting nothing of the sort. This isn't trade, this is taxpayer dollars. We own the company, and therefore should be using it to benefit us - which means growing our GDP by expanding manufacturing and creating even more jobs by using that money here - not in S. Korea.

quote:
Both these factors are choices that we Americans made and that GM has no control over.

Bull. The American people made no such choices in regards to GM in this case. In fact, the overwhelming majority of Americans didn't want to give GM ANY money at all, much less allow them to use it to purchase products from S.Korea and sell them to us.


RE: Ridiculous
By naris on 8/13/2009 2:26:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
you know what a cheap shot is? Taking billions and billions of dollars in bailouts from middle class Americans, and putting that money towards a product that most of the taxpayers cannot afford, while not using it to create as many jobs and bring the manufacturing back to America like the majority of the people here want.


Really?

So "Americans" want the U.S. automotive industry to fail and leave most of the midwest with 90%+ unemployment rates (with somewhat lower, but still double digit unemployment in the rest of the country)?

And these "Americans" you speak of, they are outraged at a $10 Billion bailout for the Auto Industry that produces a very large amount of jobs, yet over $1000 Billion dollars to bail out the financial industry with only a fraction of the jobs is OK?


RE: Ridiculous
By TomZ on 8/13/2009 3:51:34 PM , Rating: 2
I think the typical American doesn't care whether or not the U.S. automotive industry fails, even though that happening will drag down the standard of living for most Americans.

That's okay...outsource, outsource, outsource! Buy everything from Asia and we'll see who is the next industrial superpower. We can always all work at the local Walmart, right?

Sometimes I think the average American is too fat, dumb, and lazy (FDL) to even act in their own self-interest. Politicians like Obama are counting on FDL to accomplish their goals. So far, the plan seems to be working.


RE: Ridiculous
By Samus on 8/13/2009 6:25:47 PM , Rating: 2
"Heart attack of America"

You want a cheapshot, you got one :)


RE: Ridiculous
By Pythias on 8/13/2009 4:20:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And these "Americans" you speak of, they are outraged at a $10 Billion bailout for the Auto Industry that produces a very large amount of jobs, yet over $1000 Billion dollars to bail out the financial industry with only a fraction of the jobs is OK?


Neither is okay.


RE: Ridiculous
By Spuke on 8/14/2009 2:48:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
while not using it to create as many jobs and bring the manufacturing back to America like the majority of the people here want.
Like 67stang said, A123 could not meet the output required but are not out of the game, from what I understand.


RE: Ridiculous
By FITCamaro on 8/13/2009 12:42:45 PM , Rating: 3
Actually the government needs to unmeddle and eliminate those advantages the South Koreans have. Sure you can't change the cost of labor, but you can make it so that it evens out through tax incentives. As far as environmental regulations, obviously we shouldn't allow deadly chemicals to be spilled all over the place, but we don't need all the costs associated with doing endless impacts studies that companies currently have to do.


RE: Ridiculous
By thurston on 8/13/2009 10:52:18 PM , Rating: 2
Instead of typing all this.

quote:
In reality, I would guess they are being sourced from South Korea due to (a) lower labor costs, (b) lower material costs, and (c) less stringent environmental regulations. Both these factors are choices that we Americans made and that GM has no control over. Sure, the government could meddle more in trade as you suggest they should, but there are almost always unintended consequences. History has proved this time and time again.


Why didn't you just say its the liberals' fault?


RE: Ridiculous
By GreenEnvt on 8/13/2009 11:15:13 AM , Rating: 1
Assembling premade cells into a battery pack is a VERY different thing then actually making cells. It would cost incredible amounts of money for them to build facilities to process lithium into usable form and them assemble them into cells. Thats a area GM has no experience in.
It's much easier to just buy the cells from an established company and assemble them as needed.


RE: Ridiculous
By Masospaghetti on 8/13/2009 11:52:15 AM , Rating: 1
Are you finished sucking on Toyota's teet?

It's a much higher priority, at this point, to get reliable and proven battery cells so they can get the Volt to market as quickly as possible with as few problems as possible. We should all be applauding GM for taking the first step in creating what is likely to be the next big manufacturing industry.


RE: Ridiculous
By mdogs444 on 8/13/2009 12:21:53 PM , Rating: 1
Toyota?

I drive a 2009 F-150 and 2009 Navigator. My Ford products are a long stretch from Toyota...much less battery/hybrid vehicles.

Wake up.


RE: Ridiculous
By Spuke on 8/14/2009 2:54:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I drive a 2009 F-150 and 2009 Navigator.
Off topic but do you have an RV (TT, 5th)? My wife and I considered an 09 F150 because of the increased cargo capacity but the truck just didn't have enough power. Why not a used diesel 3/4 or 1 ton?


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