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GM to invest $1.5B in North American plants this year

Exec Reuss adds that electric cars aren’t dead

General Motors Co. will invest $1.5 billion in its North American plants this year, a senior executive said Wednesday, adding that its next-generation Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid could cost thousands of dollars less per car to build.

The investment is part of the $8 billion the Detroit automaker has said it will put into in its worldwide operations annually.

North American chief Mark Reuss, speaking at the Automotive News World Congress in downtown Detroit, did not provide further details of the investment plan or year-on-year comparisons.

GM, which has invested $10.2 billion in the North American market since its 2009 bankruptcy and $50 billion U.S. taxpayer-funded bailout, has said it will finish refreshing 70 percent of its U.S. vehicle lineup this year 2013.

“Our recent track record proves that this kind of continuous investment in the product pays off,” Reuss said.

Despite a lukewarm reception from consumers, the electric car is not dead, Reuss said. GM introduced the Cadillac ELR, the upscale sibling of the Volt, at the Detroit auto show on Tuesday.
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