Electric vehicles, batteries could draw bulk of GM's $7 billion pledge
By Paul Lienert DETROIT (Reuters) - A new family of electric vehicles, an all-electric pickup truck and an advanced battery system could draw much of the $7 billion that General Motors Co has pledged to invest in the United States as parts of contract talks with the United Auto Workers. The automaker and the union were continuing talks late on Monday to resolve a strike by 48,000 hourly workers that shut down GM's highly profitable U.S
By Paul Lienert
DETROIT (Reuters) - A new family of electric vehicles, an all-electric pickup truck and an advanced battery system could draw much of the $7 billion that General Motors Co
The automaker and the union were continuing talks late on Monday to resolve a strike by 48,000 hourly workers that shut down GM's highly profitable U.S. operations.
GM said on Saturday it would make investments in eight facilities in four states, but did not specify timing, location or products other than the electric pickup and a battery cell plant.
Much of that investment is likely earmarked for the production of electric vehicles at two Michigan plants and battery cells in Ohio, sources said.
GM plans to begin building at least five new electric vehicles in the United States by 2023: two for Cadillac, one for Buick and two for Chevrolet, including a replacement for the Bolt EV. Sources said all of those vehicles are likely to be assembled at GM's Orion Township plant north of Detroit.
GM also is expected to update plants in Michigan, Tennessee and Missouri to build redesigned versions of its midsize pickups and crossovers, according to a GM source. The company said it will invest in “additional new vehicle and propulsion programs,” but said nothing about opening new plants.
"With as much excess capacity as GM still has, the company won't be opening any new plants for the foreseeable future," said AutoForecast Solutions Vice President Sam Fiorani.
GM has said it plans to introduce a stable of electric vehicles by 2023, but has not provided details. Sources have said those vehicles will feature an advanced battery system and a new vehicle structure that is flexible and modular, to accommodate different vehicle types and sizes.
Over the past three years, GM has spent an average $8.45 billion a year on capital expenditures. Most of that investment was made in North America, another GM source said.
The $7 billion investment pledged to the UAW works out to less than $2 billion a year over the four-year life of the proposed contract.
Reuters last week disclosed that GM plans to introduce a full-size electric pickup in 2022, citing officials familiar with the company's plans.
On Monday, a person familiar with GM's offer to the UAW said the company could produce the electric truck at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant that now has no future assignment.
GM could also build an electric vehicle battery plant near its shuttered assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio.
(Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by Matthew Lewis)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.