Click image above for a high-res gallery of the 2010 Chevy Spark
General Motors announced this morning that it will build a future small car at existing U.S. production facilities beginning at some unspecified date. Also remaining unspecified is the location where the car will be built and the actual product. The announcement comes in the wake of the recently ratified modified contract with the UAW. The press release does say that the new production will raise GM's North American product sourcing from the current 67 percent to over 70 percent by 2013, which runs counter to some recent comments from CEO Fritz Henderson that domestic production share would remain steady. Assembly and stamping facilities will be re-tooled to support production of up to 160,000 small cars annually. It's not known if the car will be the upcoming Chevy Spark, a derivative or something else entirely. When the Spark launches in the U.S. in 2011, it is thought to perhaps be the first GM car sourced from China for U.S. sale.
[Source: General Motors]
GM Announces Plans to Build Small Car in U.S.
* GM to utilize and retool idled assembly and stamping facility for future production.
* Additional production will help the company deliver outstanding new vehicles to the compact and small car markets and meet future fuel efficiency regulations.
DETROIT, Mich. -- General Motors Corporation (NYSE:GM) announced today it plans to build a future small car in the United States utilizing an idled UAW-GM facility. This vehicle adds to GM's growing portfolio of U.S.-built, highly fuel efficient cars including the Chevrolet Cruze and Volt.
"Small cars represent one of the fastest growing segments in both the U.S. and around the world," said Fritz Henderson, General Motors President and CEO. "We believe this car will be a winner with our current and future customers in the U.S."
The re-tooled plant will be capable of building 160,000 cars annually, which can be a combination of both small and compact vehicles. Selection of the site will be determined in the future.
"I would like to personally thank the UAW for agreeing to work with us to ensure our overall manufacturing competitiveness in the United States," said Henderson. "This vehicle segment, while important today and expected to be more so in the future, is extremely challenging. It takes a special effort by everyone to bring a domestically produced small car to market in a cost-competitive and profitable way - but that is what we are going to do together."
GM already has a strong manufacturing presence in the United States. Currently, about 67 percent of GM cars and trucks sold in the U.S. are built in the U.S. With this announcement, GM anticipates that U.S. production levels will increase beyond 70 percent by 2013, augmenting its already automotive industry-leading U.S. manufacturing footprint.