General Motors is starting the production of the new CELESTIQ, but this won’t be a regular production run, the new car will be entirely hand-built using 3D-printed components.
The company will first upgrade the Global Technical Center in Warren, Michigan, in preparation for the new endeavor. The renovation project will include the purchase and installation of new equipment necessary for the hand-building process of the new CELESTIQ. The whole process will cost GM a whopping $81 million.
GM’s Global Technical Center has never witnessed the birth of a new car. So, the CELESTIQ will be the first since the facility’s inauguration back in 1956.
Mark Reuss, president of General Motors, wants this project to be a turning point in the company’s history and a start of a new era. Handcrafting a car is not easy work, especially in this era where automatization is dominating the industry. Nevertheless, GM is confident that its team of craftspeople will be up to the task and at the height of expectations, and the huge investment is just another testament to the carmaker’s determination.
The Cadillac CELESTIQ will have the Ultium Platform, as a base, just like several other new GM EVs. The company is taking advantage of the flexible platform, developed by the company specifically to facilitate the design and production of new EVs in various segments.
The car’s roof will feature a four-quadrant, suspended-particle-device smart glass. A new technology that will allow every driver to set his own desired level of transparency. The driver and front-seat passenger will also have a "pillar-to-pillar freeform" a full-width screen with privacy features to minimize driver distraction.
GM’s specialized craftsmen will rely on more than 100 3D-printed components to build the car. These elements will be both made from polymer and metal and will include everything from structural to cosmetic parts. Additive manufacturing will also be part of the production process, the CELESTIQ production facility will rely on it for tooling, fixtures, and gauges.
Gerald Johnson, executive vice president of Global Manufacturing and Sustainability explained that the CELESTIQ is just a step in the bigger strategy, he said;
“This investment is a great example of our commitment to GM’s EV transformation as we apply our manufacturing expertise to a one-of-a-kind, ultra-luxury vehicle for the Cadillac brand,"
He also shed a light on the expected increase in quality, thanks to the new production process:
“The advanced manufacturing technology and tools we are utilizing on CELESTIQ will help our team deliver the highest quality vehicles to our customers.”
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