Following weeks of speculation, General Motors finally made its decision official this afternoon. Its new small cars will be built in Michigan with final assembly taking place at the Lake Orion plant with stampings coming from the nearby Pontiac Metal Center. As a result of the decision, 1,400 jobs will be preserved in hard-hit Michigan.
The Lake Orion factory was due to be idled in September, when production of the Pontiac G6 ends there. Instead, it will be re-tooled to build a new small car that has not yet been announced. The plant will be specified as a B/C plant, meaning it will have flexibility to build both B and C segment cars. The first will be a B car, which will replace the Aveo and may be called the Viva. The plant will also be able to build C cars like the new Cruze and possibly a Buick version of the Opel Astra. The Viva would be a B-segment car similar in size to the new Ford Fiesta.
GM expects the new car to account for more than 100,000 sales in North America. Powertrain components will also be sourced from GM’s North American operations although no specifics have been announced yet. GM emphasized that this is the first car of this size to be built in the United States from any major automaker.
Gallery: Geneva 2009: Chevy Spark
Gallery: 2010 Chevy Spark
[Source: General Motors]
Officially Official: GM to build B-segment cars in Lake Orion, MI originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Fri, 26 Jun 2009 14:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.