The US automotive giant General Motors (GM) announced on April 29 that it was investing more than $1bn to expand a plant in Mexico for the production of electric vehicles (EVs) and GPS positioning systems.

GM has already started to upgrade its existing plant in Ramos Arizpe, where production of its own electric vehicles will start from 2023. It will also produce batteries and electrical components for commercial use, starting with the manufacturing of  EV powertrains this year.

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Francisco Garza, president and chief executive of GM Mexico, said in a statement in April: “We are very proud to contribute to the realisation of GM's vision of zero crashes, zero emissions, zero congestion, by contributing to the production of EVs.” He added that GM has operated in Mexico for more than 85 years. 

But not everyone was celebrating success. North American labour union of automotive workers United Auto Workers’s vice president Terry Dittes called the investment a “slap in the face’.

“GM automobiles made in Mexico are sold in the US and should be made right here, employing American workers,” he said. “This is not the America any of us signed on for. Frankly, it is unseemly.”

This article first appeared in the June/July print edition of fDi Intelligence. View a digital edition of the magazine here.