General Motors said on Thursday it will invest $1 billion in a manufacturing complex in Mexico, drawing immediate criticism from the union for American autoworkers as it plans to build electric vehicles in 2023 in the border state of Coahuila.
The automaker said it is building a new high-tech paint shop that will launch operations from June at the Ramos Arizpe site, which presently assembles conventional internal combustion automobiles, including the Chevrolet Equinox and Blazer models, together with engines and transmissions.
The United Auto Workers (UAW) criticized GM’s decision to build EVs in Mexico in place of using the union’s members in the United States when Washington is thinking about large new incentives for electric vehicles.
“At a time when General Motors is asking for a significant investment by the U.S. government in subsidizing electric vehicles, this is a slap in the face for not only UAW members and their families but also for U.S. taxpayers and the American workforce,” said UAW Vice President Terry Dittes.
He called it “unseemly” to accept U.S. government subsidies and make automobiles outside the United States.
GM responded to the UAW statement. GM said it recently announced almost 9,000 jobs and more than $9 billion in new electric vehicle or battery cell manufacturing facilities in Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee.
The White House did not immediately comment, but President Joe Biden has called for $174 billion to give a boost to U.S. EV production, sales, and infrastructure.