This is awesome news.
It has begun. GM's Factory Zero, formerly called the Detroit Hamtramck Assembly Center, has produced the first pre-production examples of the 2022 GMC Hummer EV truck even as major renovations and construction at the facility continue.
The Detroit Free Press has confirmed these early models are now rolling off the assembly line but they're not for sale to the public. The local UAW 22 and GM did say production-spec units aren't far behind but an exact start date is not yet available. "We are on track to deliver the first GMC Hummer EVs to customers by the end of the year," a GM spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, the production of the Tesla Cybertruck, a major Hummer EV rival, has been delayed. Tesla's Texas Gigafactory where the Cybertruck will be built is still being completed. As for GM's Detroit facility, its $2.2 billion re-tooling is an 18-month process but it's apparently far enough along to allow for those early-build testers. GM has a lot riding on the success of the Hummer EV. It not only has to prove EVs are a viable alternative to gas-powered vehicles but are good for serious off-roading too. And so far, people believe GM can deliver the goods.
There are currently 10,000 or so pre-orders for the Hummer EV truck. Many of them are for the $112,595 Edition 1. Once everything is good to go, a total of 2,200 people will work at Factory Zero. Only 435 workers are currently building the pre-production trucks.
The employment increase will come once series production has been given the green light. Once Hummer EV truck production gets underway, GM isn't done upgrading the facility. The company spokesperson added more work will get underway once the Hummer is launched because more EVs will be built there in the future. This is all a far cry from what GM's original plans were for the factory back in 2018.
At the time, it intended to shut it down permanently. Tough negotiations between it and the UAW resulted in a win-win compromise: re-tool the plant instead of building a new one, and for EV production to remain in Detroit.