General Motors selected its assembly plant in Orion Township, Mich. and stamping facility in Pontiac, Mich., to build its future small car, which will add to the automaker’s growing portfolio of US-built, fuel-efficient cars, including the Chevrolet Cruze and Volt. Today’s announcement will restore approximately 1,400 jobs in total—1,200 at Orion Assembly and 200 at Pontiac Metal Center, Building # 14.
This decision is dependent on the successful outcome of ongoing economic incentive negotiations between GM and state and local government officials.
Small cars represent one of the fastest-growing segments in both the US and around the world. GM will be the only automaker, foreign or domestic, to build small cars in the US, and we believe Orion Assembly and Pontiac Stamping are well suited to deliver a high-quality, fuel-efficient car that competes with anything in the marketplace.—Troy Clarke, president of General Motors North America
A selection team comprising leaders from several of GM’s functional areas, including manufacturing, labor relations and finance, made the final decision based on a specific set of criteria. Orion Assembly will be retooled and is anticipated to be a two-shift operation, building 160,000 cars annually—a combination of both small and compact vehicles.
As announced on 1 June, Orion Assembly will be placed into standby capacity status in Sept. 2009. Pontiac Metal Center’s Building #14 will be placed into standby capacity status in Dec. 2010. Pontiac Metal’s buildings #15 and #25 will close by Dec. 2010, or sooner depending on market demand. Timing for the retooling of the small car assembly and stamping plants is still under study, but GM anticipates this prep work would begin in late 2010 in anticipation of the start of production in 2011.
Two other GM assembly plants in Spring Hill, Tenn. and Janesville, Wis. were also under consideration to build the future small car. Spring Hill will be placed in standby capacity status in Nov. 2009, as announced earlier this month. The plant could be brought online at some point in the future should GM require additional capacity due to increased market demand. Janesville was placed on standby capacity in May 2009 and will remain in that status.
Currently, about 67% of GM cars and trucks sold in the United States are built there. With this announcement, GM anticipates that US production levels will increase beyond 70% by 2013, augmenting its US manufacturing footprint of more plants than any other OEM.