On Monday, GM announced it will spend $600 million to refurbish and expand an assembly and paint plant near Kansas City, Kan. No new jobs will be created by the investment, but it will preserve the employment of 4,000 workers already there.
It is the largest factory investment GM has made since its reemergence, and expected to be part of a $1.5 billion investment in North American assembly plants made in 2013, according to CEO Dan Akerson, who was on hand at the facility for the announcement. GM made a profit of $5 billion through the first three quarters of 2012, with full-year results expected next week, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The Fairfax Assembly Plant, which produces the Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Malibu, has been in operation since 1945, and received an upgrade to its current size in 1987. As part of the new overhaul, GM will build a new 450,000-square foot paint shop and install new stamping machinery.
"It is amazing to have this kind of money put in this plant," Joan Kelly, a quality engineer manager who has worked at the site for almost 29 years, tells the Associated Press. "It means we're going to be around for a long time. It's a testament to the Midwest work ethic. I'm glad to see this money spent in the middle of America."
Earlier this month, GM announced it would hire 1,000 white-collar workers at a new technology center in the Atlanta area. It also has announced it will hire 1,450 workers at a plant in Brazil that is adding a third production line.