"Factory ZERO" sounds like it's right out of sci-fi.
The factory most critical to GM's future product ambitions isn't Bowling Green Assembly, which builds the new mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette C8, nor even Flint Truck Assembly or Fort Wayne Assembly, which build the company's crop of full-size pickup trucks. It's something much closer to home.
We're talking about GM's Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center, which has been tapped to play a crucial role in GM's vigorous new push into the electric vehicle market. As we've reported previously, the plant is being converted entirely over to a pure-electric product portfolio, notably serving as the production base for the new GMC Hummer, the fully autonomous Cruise Origin, and the hand-built, low-volume Cadillac Celestiq flagship sedan.
Now, GM has decided to rebrand the plant in order to better reflect its strategic importance, selecting the name "Factory ZERO". The name almost suggests there's a certain experimental or highly classified nature to the factory - almost like Area 51: the US Air Force facility that, until 2013, officially didn't exist as far as the public was concerned. But that's not why the name was chosen; according to a release, Factory ZERO is so-named because of its singular importance to GM's "triple zero" vision of a future with zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion.
That's way less interesting.
"Factory ZERO is the next battleground in the EV race and will be GM's flagship assembly plant in our journey to an all-electric future," says GM's Executive VP of Global Manufacturing, Gerald Johnson. "The electric trucks and SUVs that will be built here will help transform GM and the automotive industry."
The factory's significance is reflected in the $2.2 billion being invested for upgrades and retooling as it's remade to build EVs at scale - the largest single plant investment in GM's 112-year history. The automaker is paying special close attention to the sustainability of the operation, recycling and treating storm water to use in the plant's cooling towers and fire suppression system, and even repurposing concrete waste from the factory overhaul to build temporary roadways.
The new pure-electric GMC Hummer is set to make its global debut online October 20.