DETROIT — General Motors plans to hire 3,000 employees in North America by the first quarter of 2021 to accelerate electric vehicle production and enhance vehicle software, GM said in a statement Monday. About 100 of those hired will be in Canada.
The additional jobs, many of which are related to GM's proprietary Ultium batteries and EV development, will help GM stick to the new EV standard set by the electric GMC Hummer pickup, which was developed in 18 months.
"We really want to advance the entire EV portfolio, and that's where we need the extra horsepower of having 3,000 additional software engineers," Ken Morris, vice president of autonomous and EV programs, told reporters. "We've figured out how to do this very quickly, and that's just going to help us move faster."
The roles will be in engineering, design and IT, and many of the positions can be remote.
"As we evolve and grow our software expertise and services, it's important that we continue to recruit and add diverse talent," GM President Mark Reuss said in the statement. "This will clearly show that we're committed to further developing the software we need to lead in EVs, enhance the customer experience and become a software expertise-driven work force."
New software jobs will help advance GM's vehicle intelligence platform, which supports active safety, infotainment, connectivity, over-the-air updates and the Super Cruise driver-assist system. GM also will invest in OnStar Guardian, which allows OnStar members to access safety services from their phones.
GM Canada’s Canadian Technical Centre (CTC) will add 100 new engineering roles, primarily focused in the areas of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and infotainment.
"GM Canada’s Canadian Technical Centre has been on a major expansion of its engineering and software work in Canada since 2016 and has grown to become the largest software engineering and development centre for GM outside the U.S.," GM Canada spokeswoman Jennifer Wright said in an email to Automotive News Canada.
Since GM's EV day in March, the automaker has pulled ahead two major EV programs "because we are doing things virtually more effective than we ever have," said Morris.
GM is more confident in workers' ability to make progress remotely after many employees have worked off-site throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Location won't be a deterrent for the new hires.
"We can get the absolute best people and if they want to live where they currently live, they can do that," Morris said.
GM also said that the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt utility variant will include a power flow screen to update drivers on their regen braking usage and their charge status. The vehicle will be the first Chevy EV to feature Super Cruise.
Production of the utility variant and a freshened Bolt EV will begin in summer 2021 at Orion Assembly in Michigan. It will be built on GM's previous battery architecture, rather than GM's proprietary Ultium battery architecture.
Morris also said GM is looking forward to working with President-elect Joe Biden's administration on "policies that will foster greater adoption of EVs across all 50 states and encourage investments in R&D and manufacturing."