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GM, Brightdrop inaugurate full-scale electric-vehicle manufacturing at retooled CAMI facility


December 6, 2022  by Manufacturing AUTOMATION

GM has completely retooled CAMI Assembly to become the new global manufacturing home of BrightDrop’s fully electric delivery vans. (Photo: GM Canada)

General Motors (GM) and its subsidiary BrightDrop opened the doors to its newly retooled CAMI Assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ont., in the presence of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Unifor National President Lana Payne, local union leaders, General Motors representatives and the CAMI team.

Marking the inauguration, the first BrightDrop Zevo 600 electric delivery van rolled off the assembly line at the first full-scale electric-vehicle manufacturing plant (according to GM).

With investment support from the federal and provincial governments, GM retooled the CAMI facility for electric vehicle production. The retooling project kicked off on May 1, 2022, and in seven months, the team installed entirely new production equipment covering two million square feet.

The new assembly equipment includes more than 257 new robotic fixtures, 13 new autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs) to move parts from the body shop to the general assembly area and 325 truckloads of new equipment in total. The largest robot at CAMI is “Godzilla” which has a lifting capacity of 1,700 kg.

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BrightDrop announced the commencement of commercial operations in Canada, with DHL slated to be the company’s first Canadian customer.

CAMI employees celebrate the opening of Canada’s first full-scale EV plant that will build BrightDrop Zevo fully electric delivery vans in Ingersoll, Ont. (Photo: GM Canada)

“I am especially proud of the BrightDrop and CAMI teams working together to take the Zevo 600 from concept to commercialization in less than two years, making this the fastest launch in GM’s history,” said Marissa West, president and managing director of GM Canada. “Electric-vehicle manufacturing in Canada is no longer something that’s happening in the future. It’s here and it’s now. That’s good for Canada and good for the planet.”

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, said, “When we invested in GM’s project to build Canada’s first full-scale electric vehicle

Pictured: Marissa West, President and Managing Director, GM Canada; Prime Minister Trudeau; The Honourable Doug Ford, Ontario Premier. (Photo Credit: Ryan Bolton and Brody White)

manufacturing plant in Ingersoll, we knew it would deliver results. Today, as the first BrightDrop van rolls off the line, that’s exactly what we’re seeing. This plant has secured good jobs for workers, it’s positioning Canada as a leader on EVs, and it will help cut pollution. Good jobs, clean air, and a strong economy – together, that’s the future we can build.”

“Today’s announcement shows once again that there is no better jurisdiction than Ontario when it comes to building the cars of the future. We have everything we need to be a North American auto manufacturing powerhouse, with a skilled workforce that is second to none. We are so pleased to see GM lay down even deeper roots here in Ontario and we look forward to seeing them grow and thrive right here in Ingersoll,” added the Honourable Doug Ford, Ontario Premier.

 


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