Detroit, Michigan – General Motors has announced that two facilities in Michigan originally slated to be idled will build a new future small car tentatively scheduled for 2011.
An assembly plant in Orion Township and a stamping facility in Pontiac will produce the car, which will be part of GM’s portfolio of U.S.-built, highly fuel-efficient cars, alongside the Chevrolet Cruze and Volt. Production will restore approximately 1,200 jobs at Orion Assembly and 200 at Pontiac Metal Center. The decision is dependent on the successful outcome of ongoing economic incentive negotiations between the automaker, and state and local government officials.
The Michigan facilities were selected over plants in Spring Hill, Tennessee and Janesville, Wisconsin, which were also under consideration.
“Small cars represent one of the fastest-growing segments in both the U.S. and around the world,” said Troy Clarke, president of GM North America. “GM will be the only automaker, foreign or domestic, to build small cars in the U.S., 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.”
Orion Assembly will be retooled and is anticipated to be a two-shift operation, building a total of 160,000 small and compact vehicles per year. The plant is represented by United Auto Workers Union (UAW) Local 5960.
As announced in June, Orion Assembly will be placed into standby capacity status in September 2009, while Pontiac Metal Center will be placed into similar status in December 2010. Other buildings in the Metal Center will close by December 2010 or sooner, depending on market demand. Prep work for retooling the plants is anticipated to begin in late 2010, with production starting in 2011.
The Spring Hill plant will be idled in November 2009, as previously announced, but could be brought back online at some point should GM require additional capacity due to increased market demand. Janesville was idled in May 2009 and will remain in that status.