GM expands production at three U.S. assembly plants

gmassemblyDetroit, Mich. — General Motors Company will add a third shift at its Fairfax, Kans.; Ft. Wayne, Ind.; and Lansing Delta Township, Mich. plants, which restores 2,400 jobs and enables GM to increase its manufacturing plant utilization in the U.S. These changes are in part due to closures and retooling announced earlier by GM.

Here are the specifics:

Fairfax, which builds the recently launched all-new Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Malibu and Saturn Aura, will become the exclusive builder of the Malibu when the Orion, Mich. assembly plant ends production in November. In 2010, the Orion plant will begin retooling and become the first U.S. plant to produce small cars to be sold in the U.S. market in 2011. The new shift at the Fairfax plant is scheduled to begin in January, 2010.

Ft. Wayne will add production of heavy duty pickups (Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra) from the Pontiac, Mich. plant that will close at the end of this month. The third shift is scheduled to begin in April, 2010.

Lansing Delta Township, Mich., will add the Chevy Traverse that is currently built at the Spring Hill Assembly plant in Tennessee, which will cease production in November but remain on standby capacity. The new shift at the Lansing plant is scheduled to begin in April 2010.

These changes are in addition to GM’s previous announcement that a second shift will be added at the Lordstown Complex (Ohio) in October where the Chevy Cobalt is built and all-new Chevy Cruze will be launched in the spring of 2010.

GM also announced it will invest more than $21 million to produce the 2011 Chevrolet light-duty crew cab at the GM Flint Assembly plant in Flint, Mich., beginning in mid-2010. The multi-million investment will include renovating the existing heavy-duty assembly process, and the purchase of new machinery, equipment and tooling to support the light-duty crew cab production in the plant.

The GM Flint Assembly plant is GM’s sole producer of its heavy-duty crew cab trucks, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. Flint Assembly also produces the heavy-duty regular cab Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.

Construction at Flint Assembly is slated to begin in the fourth quarter of 2009 and production is scheduled to begin in July 2010. The plant currently employs 1,767 hourly and salaried workers on two shifts.

See related article: GM boosts NA production