General Motors’ newly minted deal with the United Auto Workers union has confirmed the automaker has plans to produce an electric pickup at its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant. According to several sources, those plans may include several electric SUVs and pickups, including at least one with the revived Hummer brand name.
Known as the BT1 program, this electric pickup and SUV program is the main driver of a planned $3 billion investment into the Detroit-Hamtramck plant. The first BT1 vehicle is expected to launch in late 2021, which will be an electric pickup truck built at fairly low volumes. A high-performance version of the pickup will arrive in 2022, followed by an SUV in 2023.
Sources also tell Reuters the company is planning an electric pickup for GMC and an electric SUV for Cadillac in 2023.
Another product is also under consideration, dubbed “Project O.” Sources say this incognito project is exploring the idea of reviving the Hummer nameplate on a product built on the BT1 architecture. Despite the talk, sources caution no decisions have been made by GM to revive Hummer just yet.
Reviving Hummer likely makes sense for GM. The brand still has huge name recognition and can command the hefty prices that are likely to be charged for the BT1 products. Given it appears GM is taking a Tesla-like strategy of electrifying the top-end of the market and working downward, having another premium brand to play with isn’t all that crazy.
The BT1 architecture is expected to be a skateboard-like structure that houses the electric motors and batteries. This program has been in development for awhile, but it was accelerated after rival Ford Motor Company invested $500 million into electric pickup startup Rivian. GM was also making a play to invest in Rivian.
Once the BT1 program reaches full production in 2024, the Detroit-Hamtramck plant is expected to churn out about 80,000 vehicles a year.