Thursday, June 25, 2009

GM Picks Michigan For Small Car Plant


Breaking now from the AP:

A person briefed on the decision says General Motors will build its new subcompact car at a factory in Orion Township.

The person says the automaker is scheduled to announce the move Friday. The person did not want to be identified because the plan has not been made public.

GM spokeswoman Sherrie Childers Arb declined to comment.
Happy day! WWJ has more:

So how many jobs will come out of this plant? WWJ Newsradio 950 Auto Analyst John McElroy believes quite a few.

"I would say, typically, it's safe to assume, right off the bat, there would be at least a thousand jobs preserved at that plant, and probably more," McElroy said.

McElroy said he was surprised to hear the news, "We didn't know where it was going to go. It was one of three plants. I thought , all along, it might go down to Spring Hill, Tennessee, because that's where they'e been building small cars," he said.

Besides the Spring Hill plant, the Orion plant was competing with factories and Janesville, Wis. for the tiny car. The Orion plant now makes the Pontiac G6 and Chevrolet Malibu midsize cars, which also are made at a factory in Kansas City, Kan.

GM announced when it filed for bankruptcy protection June 1 that the Orion and Spring Hill plants would go on standby status later this year, meaning workers could be called back if the company needs to increase production. The Janesville plant already closed in April.

GM also is likely to announce that its Pontiac parts stamping plant will be retooled to make parts for the new car, based on the Chevrolet Spark. About 1,000 jobs could be saved there.