gm ultium rendering
GM has included its planned Ultium Cells battery cell plant in Lansing, Michigan, as among major investments in manufacturing it is making in that state.
Rendering courtesy of General Motors Co.

Midwest receives manufacturing boost

The Great Lakes region receives $27 billion in planned investment from GM and Intel.

January 26, 2022

Corporate investments in manufacturing with significant price tags attached have made recent news in three Great Lakes region states: Michigan, Ohio and New York. The attention to Midwest manufacturing should ultimately lead to opportunities for recyclers of many materials.

In the automotive sector, Michigan-based General Motors (GM) announced it would be investing some $7 billion at four different factories in its home state. GM calls it the largest single investment announcement in its history, and much of it is tied to electric vehicle (EV) production.

The investment includes construction of a new Ultium Cells battery cell plant in Lansing, Michigan, and the conversion of GM’s assembly plant in Orion Township, Michigan, to production of the Chevrolet Silverado EV and the electric GMC Sierra.

“Today, we are taking the next step in our continuous work to establish GM’s EV leadership by making investments in our vertically integrated battery production in the U.S., and our North American EV production capacity,” said Mary Barra, GM chair and CEO, in a Jan. 25 statement.

“We are building on the positive consumer response and reservations for our recent EV launches and debuts, including GMC Hummer EV, Cadillac Lyriq, Chevrolet Equinox EV and Chevrolet Silverado EV. Our plan creates the broadest EV portfolio of any automaker and further solidifies our path toward U.S. EV leadership by mid-decade.”

The company also intends to share some funding with the Buffalo, New York, region in the form of a $174 million announced investment in an electrical components plant in Lockport, New York. That investment will be used to renovate the facility and purchase and install new machinery and equipment used in the production of the stator module, which GM calls “a key component in an electric motor.”

Technology also is the watchword in another announcement made in January, this one by California-based Intel. The tech firm has announced it plans to invest more than $20 billion in the construction of two new microchip factories in Ohio.

“The investment will help boost production to meet the surging demand for advanced semiconductors,” says the company. Construction is expected to begin in late 2022 on nearly 1,000 acres of land in Licking County, in central Ohio. Intel calls it “the largest single private-sector investment in Ohio history.”

“Today’s investment marks another significant way Intel is leading the effort to restore United States semiconductor manufacturing leadership,” says Pat Gelsinger, CEO of Intel. “Intel’s actions will help build a more resilient supply chain and ensure reliable access to advanced semiconductors for years to come. These factories will create a new epicenter for advanced chipmaking in the U.S. that will bolster Intel’s domestic lab-to-fab pipeline and strengthen Ohio’s leadership in research and high tech.”

Comments Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, “Today’s announcement is monumental news for the state of Ohio. We are proud that chips – which power the future – will be made in Ohio, by Ohioans.”