TOLEDO, Ohio — The next generation of vehicles will be made in Toledo.
General Motors announced Friday it will invest $760 million into its Toledo Propulsions Systems facility on Alexis Road to produce drive units for electric vehicles. Parallel work will commence building current transmissions for gas-powered vehicles, and then the plant will introduce EV propulsion units.
GM Executive Vice President of Global Manufacturing Gerald Johnson said the EV drive units combine electric motors with a single speed transmission. Vehicles will have one of each - one in the front, and one in the rear.
"Tomorrow is changing," Johnson said. "We're talking about an all EV future. It's out there in 2035 and we have to find our way across a transition.
"This will make sure Toledo is here as we shift from Silverados today to Silverado EVs tomorrow. This is well deserved and well earned."
He expects production to begin in late 2023 or early 2024.
The transition will begin this fall. This is GM's first investment of this kind in the United States.
Gov. Mike DeWine thanked the GM workers in UAW Local 14 for their dedication in making this day a reality.
"This is really a testament to you. To your skill, your dedication and your work ethic," DeWine said. "It's something to celebrate. I wanted to be here to say thanks to you workers. This is a testament to General Motors' belief in your skills."
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown said northwest Ohio is well on its way to burying the term "Rust Belt."
"Ohio union workers are the future of the auto industry and the future of our state," Brown said. "Think about where we were 10 years ago as a nation. Too many people and politicians were ready to write off the American auto industry. We proved you never write off American auto workers.
"When you love this country, you fight for the people who make it work. That's what this day is all about."
The company sent a media advisory Wednesday saying it would make a "positive plant manufacturing announcement" at Toledo Propulsion Systems on Alexis Road.
UAW President Ray Curry, UAW Local 14 President Tony Totty, Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz and U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo) were also among those who spoke at Friday's event.
The facility - which officially changed its name Friday from the Toledo Transmission Plant - employs about 1,700 workers and makes transmissions for gas-powered trucks, cars and SUVs. UAW leaders across the country have been vocal about the importance of securing electric vehicle propulsion jobs as the automotive industry evolves.
GM has invested over $2 billion in the plant since 2011.
GM has transitioned multiple U.S. assembly plants to build EVs, including Factory Zero in Detroit. The company is committed to producing strictly EVs by 2035.