Business & Tech

GM announces jobs, electric vehicle after Trump criticism

LAKE ORION, MI - MARCH 22: General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra speaks with the news media after she announced a $300 million investment in the GM Orion Assembly Plant plant for electric and self-driving vehicles at the Orion Assembly Plant on March 22, 2019 in Lake Orion, Michigan. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
Bill Pugliano/Getty Images
General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra spoke with the news media after she announced a $300 million investment in the GM Orion Assembly Plant plant for electric and self-driving vehicles at the Orion Assembly Plant Friday in Lake Orion, Mich.

ORION TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Less than a week after a series of critical tweets from the president over an Ohio plant closure, General Motors is announcing plans to add 400 jobs and build a new electric vehicle at a factory north of Detroit.

The company says it will spend $300 million at its plant in Orion Township, Michigan, to manufacture a Chevrolet vehicle based on the battery-powered Bolt.

GM wouldn’t say when the new workers will start or when the new vehicle will go on sale, nor would it say if the workers will be new hires or come from a pool of laid-off workers from the planned closings of four US factories by January.

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The company also announced plans Friday to spend about another $1.4 billion at U.S. factories with 300 more jobs but did not release a time period or details.

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The moves come after last weekend’s string of venomous tweets by President Donald Trump condemning GM for shutting its small-car factory in Lordstown, Ohio, east of Cleveland. During the weekend, Trump demanded that GM reopen the plant or sell it, criticized the local union leader and expressed frustration with CEO Mary Barra.

GM spokesman Dan Flores would not answer questions about Trump but said the investment has been in the works for weeks. Indeed, GM has said it planned to build more vehicles off the underpinnings of the Bolt, which can go an estimated 238 miles on a single electric charge. The company has promised to introduce 20 new all-electric vehicles globally by 2023.