One day after President Joe Biden said that his efforts to combat climate change would create American jobs, General Motors Mexico announced a $1 billion investment to upgrade its Ramos Arizpe assembly plant in Mexico to build electric vehicles there by 2023.
GM's statement in Spanish was posted only on GM Mexico's site. The announcement added that the assembly plant would continue producing the Chevrolet Equinox and Chevrolet Blazer, engines and transmissions.
Biden said in his address to a joint session of Congress Wednesday night "There’s no reason why Americans, American workers can’t lead the world in the production of electric vehicles and batteries. We have the capacity. They’re best-trained people in the world. And all the investments in the American Jobs Plan will be guided by one principle: Buy American. Buy American." Biden also said that the way to combat clmate change was through jobs.
GM had previously announced that the company will invest $800 million in its CAMI manufacturing plant in Ontario, CA to produce a commercial electric van.
The automaker is investing billions to transition their internal combustion engine-producing plants to manufacture EVs as to achieve a self-imposed goal of selling only zero-emissions vehicles by 2035.
The upgrades have already begun at Ramos. GM Mexico also said batteries and electrical components will be manufactured there as well as the production of drive units.
In a statement responding to the announcement, United Auto Workers Vice President Terry Dittes said: "At a time when General Motors is asking for a significant investment by the US government in subsidizing electric vehicles, this is a slap in the face for not only UAW members and their families but also for U.S. taxpayers and the American workforce.”
Dittes, who is also the head of the union's GM Department added, "General Motors automobiles made in Mexico are sold in the United States and should be made right here, employing American workers. That is why our nation is investing in these companies. Taxpayer money should not go to companies that utilize labor outside the U.S. while benefiting from American government subsidies. This is not the America any of us signed on for. Frankly, it is unseemly."
U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), in a statement to The Detroit News said, "Electric vehicles must be built here in America by the finest workforce in the world — the American workers. Not one American dollar should support our own jobs being shipped off to Mexico — especially when we have the workers and the technology to manufacture electric vehicles ourselves. General Motors needs to reaffirm their commitment to working families now. I am focused on ensuring auto innovation and manufacturing stays in the hands of hard-working American people."