Inside GM’s Plans to Convert Its Factories for EVs

Gerald Johnson, head of global manufacturing, talks about what has to be done for a transformation to electric cars and the retraining it will take to get there

GM manufacturing chief Gerald Johnson is overseeing the gut rehab of GM’s Factory Zero in Detroit to serve as the company’s EV hub.

Photo: Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

General Motors Co. is betting its future on electric cars. By mid-decade it plans to spend $27 billion on manufacturing 30 electric models and developing driverless cars. By 2035, it expects to have phased out gasoline-engine options completely and to be selling only electric vehicles, a technology that currently generates about 2% of sales and no profit for the company.

香蕉视频苹果下载Planning for this transformation at the factory level is the responsibility of Gerald Johnson, a GM lifer who took over global manufacturing operations in 2019, and who is spearheading a $2.2 billion gut rehab of a factory in Detroit, recently renamed Factory Zero, to serve as GM’s electric-vehicle hub. Two more conversions of North American factories for production of electric vehicles, or EVs, are in the works.

香蕉视频苹果下载Mr. Johnson, 58 years old, calls it the most far-reaching strategic shift he has seen in his career at GM, which he began 40 years ago as an intern.

“There has always been incremental change,” he says. “This is transformative.”

GM factories around the world employ more than 100,000 workers. Some plants exist solely to assemble gas-powered engines and transmissions that won’t be needed if the company successfully reaches its 2035 target, portending big changes for both workers and GM’s factory footprint.

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