GM plan on building 2 million electric cars in 2025 that means they’ve got to ramp production up from the current 8,000 per quarter to 5,00,000 per quarter within only a few year time. Can that happen? I don’t know but hopefully they can do it.
Right as I finished filming my latest video, I looked up and I saw that 1 person had died or been murdered after a fight at GM’s Orion assembly plant, their own assembly plant! It is actually GM’s first assembly plant that’s to be converted to electric vehicle production plant. GM plans of converting all their plans eventually to building only EVs which is really good news.
Now this is actually a pretty big plant. The Orion assembly is 4.3 million square foot. General Motors vehicle assembly plant is located in Orion Township, Michigan. The plant currently assembles the Chevy bolt and the cruise AV as of September 2019. The plant had just over 1000 salaried and hourly employees and the plant actually began producing vehicles on the 1st of December 1983 with the 1985 model C-body cars. The assembly produced the Chevrolet Malibu and Pontiac G6 until 2009 when the plant was idled due to the General Motors chapter 11 reorganization of 2009; basically when GM declared bankruptcy, the plant in suburban Detroit was saved from closure through a $1 billion grant and tax incentives from the state of Michigan, local municipalities and the federal government then on 22 March 2019 GM announced an additional investment of $300 million and an addition of 400 workers to build a new electric vehicle at Orion. This was later revealed to be a larger version or slightly larger version of the electric Chevy bolt called the bolt EUV. Well now, a 49 year old man has been murdered following a fight with a co-worker at General Motors plant. Sheriff’s communications officer Steve Huber identified the victim as Gregory Lanier Robertson of Pontiac. Robertson had worked at the plant for about 7 months. His 48 year old male co-worker is now in custody at Oakland County Jail. Late Thursday afternoon the Oakland County medical examiner’s office completed an autopsy report. His death was marked as a homicide with the cause as “multiple blunt force injuries.” The sheriff’s office confirmed both men in the fight worked for a cleaning service hired by GM, but Huber told the free press his office is not releasing the name of that cleaning company. GM hires vendors to do cleaning as well as some maintenance and parts distribution for the assembly line.
The plant was shut down Thursday for the investigation but regular production resumed on Friday morning and employees will report at their regular times to get more EVs unless notified otherwise by GM management. So he was actually found dead at the scene by police at 1:37 AM in the morning and there was no risk to the public. The police are now saying here’s what happened, deputies arrived to find Robertson unconscious and bleeding CPR was performed but deputies could not revive him he was pronounced dead at the scene. The suspect was found in the dock area not far from Robertson’s body the item used in the slaying was recovered. The incident and possible motive still remain under investigation. In a statement released later Thursday Flores said GM was working with the Oakland County sheriff’s office to investigate an altercation between 2 employees of a third party service provider at Orion assembly early Thursday morning. The incident resulted in the death of 1 of the individuals our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim’s family. The last fatal homicide at a automotive plant in the United States was actually at Ford motor company’s Woodhaven Stamping Plant, Jacoby Hennings, a temporary, part-time employee, was involved in a dispute before shooting himself leading to the plant’s evacuation and shut down. Hennings was only 21 years old at the time. Before that in 1996 the media reported Gerald Michael Atkins, then 29, was arrested after dressing “like Rambo″ and using an AK-47 to shoot his way into a Ford plant in Wixom. The manager was killed and 3 others were wounded. GM’s Flores said he does not recall a fatal killing at a GM factory until this one. So this looks like it’s GM’s first homicide in any of the factories worldwide however according to GM’s 2021 to stand ability report the automaker had two work related deaths added facilities up from 1 death in 2020 so what is his factory going to be doing in the future? Well GM builds the Chevy bolt and the bolt EUV right now and they just restarted production of the Bolt and the Bolt EUV in April after about 8 months of the factory being shut down over the battery recall. GM actually idled the factory late last year in around August so they could focus on fixing defective batteries as part of a global recall of 2017 to 2022 model year bolt, in fact they haven’t finished fixing all those apparently they fixed about half of those vehicles so far. So they have about 70,000 vehicles left to go that need to have batteries replaced. About 1,40,000 vehicles were affected in the recall because they could potentially catch fire due to faulty LG Chem batteries. Now there was more than a dozen fires, no-one injured but people told not to park their vehicles in the garages in case the vehicles caught fire. In fact many of the vehicles are actually banned from parking in a lot of places, in a lot of cities because of the fear that they could catch fire. When GM restarted the plant in April Chevrolet leaders said once production ramped up the EV’s would achieve record sales this year, topping 24,000 Bolts. However through June GM has sold only 7300 bolts. In the same period last year, GM has sold 20,300. So it’s a big difference 7300 this year for the first 7 months versus 20,300 last year. It looks like they’re on track to maybe hit around 13,000 this year so quite a big drop off compared to last year and compared to What GM was hoping for 24,000; it’s also a much lower number. In January, GM announced it would invest 7billions in Michigan factories included in that is a $4 billion investment to upgrade Orion to start building the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV pickup. Personally I would love to own one of those. They look absolutely amazing. Now I’m sorry about what happened here at this factory, very sad to hear and my condolences to the family and to those involved in this. The good news is it sounds like the perpetrator is now in custody.