GM to hire 3,000 engineers, designers, IT workers to speed up electric vehicle production

GM

General Motors is hiring thousands as it pushes to bring more than 20 new electric vehicles to U.S. roads by 2023.

The automaker will hire 3,000 engineers, designers and technology specialists between now and the end of the first quarter, and most of those people can work remotely, opening up the talent pool across the nation.

“We have a lot of flexibility on where we can draw talent from,” said Ken Morris, GM’s vice president of autonomous and electric vehicle programs. “We’re going to look for the best talent we can get and work around whatever situations there are to get that talent.”

GM has said it envisions a future of zero emissions, zero crashes and zero congestion, which it will achieve through electric and autonomous vehicles. To that end, GM considers 18 months the timeline to develop each electric vehicle, meaning to go that fast simultaneously will require more people.

“We’re moving as fast as we can in developing vehicles virtually. You can see how fast we’re bringing the Hummer EV to market,” Morris said, referring to the GMC Hummer electric pickup due out at the end of next year.

GM expects a shift in demand for electric vehicles in the near future and wants to be a leader.

“We’re anticipating there is going to be an inflection point and we want to be ready because it’s a very competitive market,” Morris said. “If we miss that opportunity, it’s tough to catch up.”

Enterprise-wide hiring

For the first time ever, GM will be offering more remote jobs in this wave of hiring, Morris said.

He said recent innovations in virtual development technology made by GM’s engineering team have allowed GM to speed up the product timelines of upcoming EVs while keeping costs low and working remotely.

GM white-collar workers have been working remotely since March 13 because of the coronavirus pandemic and Morris said it has been effective.

“That opens up the hiring possibilities for people intrigued with General Motors because they believe in zero emissions, zero congestion and zero crashes,” Morris said. “They can hire-in while living in Florida if they want to, and stay there. We can get the best people and they can live where they want to live.”

The job openings are for electrical system engineers; infotainment software engineers; developers for Java, Android, iOS and other platforms; controls engineers, and other jobs helping build on GM’s current software foundation.

Morris said most of the hiring will be in production development and software engineering, “but it’s an enterprise-wide approach so there will be people in IT and design and areas to help us integrate the customer experience as well.”

‘Eager to tell you more’

Last week, during GM’s earnings call, CEO Mary Barra told analysts the automaker was starting to hire 1,100 workers at Ultium Cells LLC, a battery assembly plant that GM is building in Ohio as part of its joint-venture with LG Chem. GM will start battery cell production there during the first quarter, but Morris declined to say which EVs will initially get the battery cells made there. These jobs are not included in the 3,000 announced Monday.

GM also said it will start calling back workers to Factory ZERO in Detroit and Hamtramck starting early next year as it converts the facility to build EVs.

Barra said GM will be bringing EVs to market faster than it had initially anticipated, crediting its strategic partnerships and investments in technology for fast-tracking product development.

GM has shown two of its future EVs: the Cadillac Lyriq SUV, to be built in Spring Hill, Tennessee, and due to market in 2022, and the GMC Hummer EV pickup, hitting the market late next year. It will be assembled at Factory ZERO.

The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV, a slightly larger version of the current Bolt, will feature GM’s hands-free Super Cruise technology and will be made at Orion Assembly in Lake Orion.

“We’ll share more details about the all new Chevy Bolt EUV and the refreshed Bolt early next year,” Morris said.

Barra will speak at Barclays 2020 Global Automotive Conference on Nov. 19 and at that time she is expected to outline more details about GM’s EV strategy and future products.

“One of the many great things about our Ultium batteries is they can be arranged in multiple ways … to support front-wheel, all-wheel and performance,” Morris said. “They are interchangeable across our entire lineup, so just think of the possibilities and we’re eager to tell you more during next week’s Barclay’s conference.”

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