Monday, August 01, 2011

Sonic Boom

Couldn't resist that one. Here's a bit of good news: GM has officially started production today on the Sonic - the only subcompact being built in America. It's a huge stride for the company, and hopefully a sign that we will be able to keep and grow the auto industry right here in Michigan - because the way things are going, we certainly are going to need every little bit we can get.

General Motors has begun production of its new subcompact, the Chevrolet Sonic.

The Sonic is the replacement for the Chevy Aveo, which had been made in South Korea. But, the new vehicle will be made at GM’s Orion plant in Oakland Country. An innovative deal with the UAW—to use more lower paid “second tier” workers, allowed Orion—which had been idled, to reopen.

“Today is the start of regular production,” said Kenneth Knight, GMs executive director of global and North American manufacturing engineering. “Today is when we press the button to go live.”

Knight says the Sonic will soon be joined on the line by the new compact Buick Verano. But they want to make sure they have Sonic production perfected before they add the second vehicle.

Bloomberg had a report this morning about auto sales in a stall; jobs and consumer confidence starting to weigh on the market (you're shocked, I know). But this time around I think the automakers will be able to weather the slight downturns a little better, and hopefully can maintain enough sales to remain on solid ground. Not too worried. Yet.

The Cruze has been very popular, got a feeling this one will be too. 40 mpg (just like my Saturn!), under 15 g's. It goes on sale this fall. If Washington hasn't totally spooked the economy by then, it should see some pretty good numbers.