EV Battery Plant Will Furlough Workers Due To Low Demand (VIDEO update)

5 years ago by Mike Buchanan 6

The Chevy Volt battery is currently being manufactured in South Korea, but is supposed to be built at this plant once production speeds up next week.

According to an article from Fox News, workers at Compact Power, who makes lithium-ion cells for EVs, will have to furlough workers. The terms for the furloughs means all workers will only work three weeks per month.

President Obama gets into an electric Ford Focus as he attends the groundbreaking of a factory for Compact Power Inc. in Holland, Mich.

The plant, which is located in Holland, Mich. and currently ran by LG Chem, was built using $150 million in taxpayer funds, but to date, not one battery has been manufactured there. As part of President Obama’s hope to bring “manufacturing jobs… back to the United States,” he was even at the ground breaking for this facility.

“You are leading the way in showing how manufacturing jobs are coming right back here to the United States of America,” Obama told workers at the ground-breaking ceremony. “Our goal has never been to create a government program, but rather to unleash private-sector growth. And we’re seeing results.”

Although the $150 million in taxpayer funds helped construct the building, local governments made the deal even sweeter. LG supposedly received a large tax break for property taxes over the first 15 years which will save them almost $50 million plus $2.5 million annually on local business taxes for an undisclosed term.

Fox News says the plant was to manufacture batteries for both the Chevrolet Volt and the electric Ford Focus, but currently batteries for the Volt are still manufactured in South Korea.

“The market conditions haven’t been as favorable, but this hasn’t slowed down plans one bit,” Randy Boileau, spokesperson for LG Chem said. “LG Chem has repeatedly said that this facility is a critical component for them globally.”

Here is a rendering of the $150 million dollar facility.

Randy Boileau, a spokesperson for LG Chem, said he feels that this is only temporary as they are expected to start battery production as soon as Chevy increases output of the Volt which is starting Oct. 15. He also said that workers at the plant that are affected by this are eligible for unemployment the weeks they are not working plus the company will still contribute to their benefits during that time.

To learn more about the struggles and possible resulutions for this plant, check out the story at Fox News.

 

Video from NOT FOX NEWS:

6 responses to "EV Battery Plant Will Furlough Workers Due To Low Demand (VIDEO update)"

  1. Mark H says:

    Always sad to read the political spin. Of course there is a need to furlough for a plant of this capacity. Expect this in varying degrees for five years. This is an emerging market that sold 17,000 EVs in the US for 2011 and probably 50,000 in 2012. The industry has to start somewhere but it is consistently on the rise. Shame on you Fixed News for misleading your viewing base and implying failure.

  2. GeorgeS says:

    This is so maddening.
    They should be making EVERY Chevy Volt pack in the US.
    That was the idea in the first place.
    Chevy will end up making around 35000 Volts this year.
    That’s 35000 packs that could be made in this plant employing American workers…..
    Not Korean workers in SK.

  3. James says:

    @Mike Buchanan

    2 Negative stories re: electric cars in one morning! This is even a record for you!

    Look Mike – don’t quote Fox News for “FACTS” regarding EVs or EV-related news, OK?

    LG’s Michigan plant information has been available for weeks and weeks. I’d pull this

    story due to it’s negative slant and dubious source – SERIOUSLY.

    LG makes fantastic batteries. So far, they’re unmatched in miles driven and reliablity.

    This story makes LG’s brand-new facility out as some sort of failure – a place that is

    failing due to slow demand for it’s product. This is UNFAIR and UNTRUE. Other

    news sources rely on CONTROVERSY and SENSATIONALISM to get hits, or viewership.

    InsideEVs.com is not one of these.

    LG’s U.S. operation is just getting started. Thank God they’re ahead of demand, instead of p

    playing catch-up creating backlogs and disappointed consumers who have to wait in line

    to get a gas-miserly vehicle! This plant will ramp up production as several of it’s

    partners ramp up PHEV and EV production. Better to build capacity and production

    square footage ahead of demand.

    This article and FOX NEW’s information stating this plant is ONLY FOR FOCUS EV and

    CHEVY VOLT batteries is misleading and outright untrue.

    Please do better research and do not rely upon EV ANTAGONISTS for your information.

    If spin is your goal – there are several articles available online that frame LG’s factory in

    a much more positive light. I’ll post them here if I have to.

    For one – how about a foreign company that – FROM THIS FACILITY – will export

    American-made product around the globe to automakers needing battery supplies?

    How about AMERICAN MANUFACTURING BEING A POSITIVE STORY?!

    America needing to recapture it’s status as a MAKER NATION and not just

    a TAKER NATION.

    Thank You.

    1. Mike Buchanan says:

      Thanks for your input, but Fox News is news, even if you do not agree with it. If that plant does manufacture batteries or other goods for other EVs than Volts or Focus, please let me know where that information is and we can write a positive story about what the plant actually does. Also, if Fox News is making up that the plant is scheduled to start production next week as Volt production also increases, why can’t you see the positive in that statement? To me, that means as of now, lets prepare our plant to be sufficient under the smallest staff possible and grow as required based on orders.

      The other story I did my best to not make it point the finger at the EV itself by making sure I stated that the charger was purchased online and installed by the owners. I did not assume that the charger was OEM or the owners knew or didn’t know what they were doing. All I wrote was the facts and nothing more. Again, if you do not agree with Fox 4 or NBC 2 down in Florida, you can contact their bias news programs according to your liking.

      1. Stuart22 says:

        You should have found another news source to verify your Fox source, otherwise the credibility of the story and its spin stands to be questioned.