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GM to build production versions of Cruise AV at Michigan assembly plant

ABR Staff Writer Published 19 March 2018

General Motors (GM) said that it will build production versions of its Cruise AV fully-autonomous vehicle at its Orion Township assembly facility in Michigan, US,

The company will assemble roof modules for its self-driving vehicles at its Brownstown plant.

GM plans to commercialize the Cruise AV in 2019. It is the first production-ready vehicle built from the ground up to operate safely on its own with no driver, steering wheel, pedals or manual controls.

Presently, at the Orion plant, GM produces Chevrolet Sonic and Chevrolet Bolt EVs.

In its 32-year history, the plant is claimed to have produced more than 5.1 million vehicles. In 2014, the company invested $160m on procuring tools and equipment to produce the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

At the Brownstown plant, the company produces assembles lithium-ion batteries for its Chevrolet Volt, Malibu Hybrid, Silverado eAssist, GMC Sierra eAssist, Buick LaCrosse Hybrid, and Cadillac CT6 Plug-In vehicles.

GM converted the battery facility from an empty warehouse into a production-ready battery manufacturing site with $43m investment.

The company is now investing over $100m to upgrade both facilities. Roof module production has already started and production of the fourth generation Cruise AV is estimated to start in 2019.

From last January, the local workers at the Orion plant have been assembling three generation of Cruise self-driving test vehicles, which were used in testing urban environments including downtown San Francisco. Until now, more than 200 test vehicles were assembled at the plant,.

GM president Dan Ammann said: “We’re continuing to make great progress on our plans to commercialize in 2019.

“Our Orion and Brownstown teams have proven experience in building high-quality self-driving test vehicles and battery packs, so they are well-prepared to produce the Cruise AV.”

GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities, manufacture and sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang and Wuling brands.


Image: GM takes next step toward future with self-driving vehicle manufacturing in Michigan. Photo: Courtesy of General Motors Co.