The failing auto giant’s highly anticipated energy research lab officially opened up shop on Monday, despite filing chapter 11 bankruptcy. The new lab, located in Warren, Michigan, is touted as the world’s most leading-edge automotive technology research center. Chevrolet’s electric car, the Volt, is the reason why GM went ahead with the facility. The laboratory has turned some heads, including those of the U.S. government, who have given GM billions as they continue to restructure and layoff workers. The battery research lab’s main goal is getting the Chevy Volt, the company’s first fully electric vehicle, off assembly lines by the scheduled 2010 deadline.
The battery lab comes as a high point for most, as GM continues to try and re-brand itself as a leader in energy efficient vehicles.
“The new GM will help contribute to the development of green jobs”, said GM CEO Fritz Henderson, “It’s the start of a new GM.”
Lawmakers in Detroit hope the battery lab will set a new tone for the torn image of what used to be known as the motor city. There is a vision that Michigan will rebuild itself as a center of technology and research, which would create thousands of new jobs to eager laid off auto workers.
“We intend and aspire to be the place where breakthroughs occur”, said Governor Jennifer Granholm.
The lab employs about 1,000 engineers full time and simulates a real world driving environment. Hopefully the center will prove to be a smart move for the auto giant, since every American has a big stake in Detroit’s success.
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