At the beginning of the month, we told you that Michigan's legislature passed new incentives to attract manufacturers of batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles. Just a few short weeks after Governor Granholm signed that bill into law, Michigan's bet paid off, with GM announcing plans to construct a battery-pack assembly plant in the state. The batteries will be manufactured by LG Chem in South Korea, assembled in the U.S., and used in the new 2011 Chevrolet Volt. Sweet.
Now it would appear that those plans have inched forward, since the North America vice president of Chevrolet, Ed Peper, announced a rough opening date for the plant (sometime in 2010) and a dollar figure for the project: $30 million. That's not an unreasonable amount for a new facility--in fact, it sounds pretty modest, with a staff of around 100--provided GM can find the cash.
Which, unfortunately, is not a given: CEO Fritz Henderson said yesterday that GM will run out of cash by the end of March without the next bailout installment. And even if that bailout cash starts a-flowin', it could be yanked if the company doesn't present a restructuring plan by February 17.
Funny, we were led to believe that the day after the inauguration would be somewhat brighter....