General Motors Corp., struggling to overcome an $8.6 billion loss in 2005, unveils a plan to invest $545 million in five key Michigan plants to make way for new products.
“This investment is good for our people and shows we're investing in our future,” says Joe Spielman, vice president-GM North America Mfg. “This (investment) is all about product, product, product.”
Crucial to this onslaught are the fullsize GMT900 pickups: the all-new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, both set to begin production this fall at plants in Pontiac, MI, and Fort Wayne, IN.
To this end, GM already has begun to invest $163 million to retool the Pontiac truck assembly plant for production of the new vehicles.
The investment also includes the addition of 280 new assembly workers at the site due to the greater content and complexity of the new trucks, Spielman says.
He adds that the new hires will come from within GM, either from other plants that have been closed or idled or from workers who are eligible to transfer back to GM from Delphi Corp., GM's former parts subsidiary that is negotiating a bankruptcy restructuring.
Also in Pontiac is a GM metal stamping plant that will receive $32 million for new aluminum and steel sheet hydroforming equipment. The new tooling primarily will be used to form the body panels for GM's new family of Kappa architecture-based roadsters: the Pontiac Solstice, all-new '07 Saturn Sky and a future Adam Opel AG roadster that should appear within a year, Spielman says.
GM's Lansing Grand River assembly plant also will be upgraded under the new investment to the tune of $138 million.