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GM Investing $43 Million to Build Batteries for Volt in Michigan

General Motors Company (GM) will invest $43 million to open a facility in Brownstown Township, Michigan, that will manufacture lithium-ion battery packs for the Chevrolet Volt electric car. The company says the plant will be the first lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in the United States operated by a major automaker. More than 100 advanced technology jobs are expected with the venture, which will be a wholly owned subsidiary of GM called GM Subsystem Manufacturing LLC. GM is leasing the 160,000-square-foot facility, which is landfill-free, and will spend much of the investment on renovation, including new machinery and equipment and special tooling. "Developing and producting advanced batteries is a key step in GM's journey to become the leader in electric vehicles," says Fritz Henderson, GM's president and CEO. "This state-of-the-art battery manufacturing site reinforces our commitment to achieve that goal and to deliver clean, fuel-efficient vehicles to our customers." The Brownstown factory will include three primary assembly areas: battery module pre-assembly, final assembly, and the battery pack main line. Production at the facility is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2010. The Associated Press reports that GM is receiving a 12-year, 50-percent personal property tax abatement from the city as part of a larger incentives package. GM announced earlier this week that the Volt will get up to 230 miles per gallon using the battery technology; it is estimated that the vehicle will cost around $40,000 retail when it is introduced in November 2010.

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