• Image Credit: General Motors
GM Orion Assembly Plant announcement
  • Image Credit: General Motors
GM Orion Assembly Plant workers
  • Image Credit: General Motors
GM Orion Assembly Plant
  • Image Credit: General Motors
GM Orion
  • Image Credit: General Motors
GM Orion Assembly Plant tires
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GM Orion Assembly Plant paint shop
  • Image Credit: General Motors
GM Orion Assembly Plant panel inspection
  • Image Credit: General Motors
General Motors is spending heavily to upgrade its Orion Assembly plant. The latest investment is earmarked to total $245 million, create 300 new jobs, and will help launch an unidentified new model line.

The announcement follows the $160 million that was committed to the plant just seven months ago to gear up for production of the new Bolt, part of almost a billion dollars that GM has invested in the facility since it reopened in 2010. GM is investing $5.4 billion in its US manufacturing operations over the next three years. With this announcement, GM has now identified $3.1 billion of that total so far, leaving another $2.3 billion to be committed before the year's out.

The bigger question is: just what is GM is preparing to build at Orion? So far, all it's saying is that it'll be "an all-new vehicle program unlike any in the plant's 32-year history." Aside from that new model line and the new Bolt, the plant handles assembly of the Chevy Sonic and Buick Verano. Less than two weeks ago, GM announced it was cutting production of the Sonic and Verano at Orion by 20 percent in response to flagging demand.
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GM Invests $245 Million for New Vehicle Program
Brings total investment at Orion Township plant to $962 million in past five years


ORION TOWNSHIP, Mich. – General Motors will invest $245 million and add 300 new jobs at its Orion Assembly plant to support launching an all-new vehicle program unlike any in the plant's 32-year history.

"Orion Assembly is a breeding ground for manufacturing innovation," said Cathy Clegg, GM North America vice president of Manufacturing and Labor Relations. "It serves as a model for how to engage the entire workforce at all levels to achieve success. The plant is up to the challenge of building this brand-new product, something it's never seen before."

Investment in Orion totals $962 million since the UAW and GM worked together to reopen the previously idled plant in 2010.

This latest investment comes just seven months after the announcement of a $160-million investment to launch Chevrolet's game-changing Bolt EV, which is expected to achieve more than 200 miles of range on a single electric charge.

"Orion is an example of what we can achieve when we work together," said UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada, who leads the union's GM Department. "Only through innovative problem solving were we going to see this plant succeed, and this new investment is proof of that. UAW-GM continue to show the world that when you involve both workers and management in the process, workers win, management wins and our communities win."

Orion has a unique culture that encourages employees to offer solutions to problems that positively impact the business. For example, a team of hourly, salaried and skilled trades' workers from the paint shop recently developed a process monitoring tool for robotic paint applicators that alerts operators to potential failures before they happen. The innovative approach to preventive maintenance is now being applied to other GM manufacturing sites and will help avoid millions in cost annually.

Today's announcement is a part of the $5.4 billion GM has announced it will invest in U.S. manufacturing over the next three years. Approximately $3.1 billion of the $5.4 billion has been identified, leaving $2.3 billion to be announced by year end.

Since June 2009, GM has announced U.S. facility investment of approximately $17.8 billion. About $12.4 billion of that has come since the 2011 UAW-GM National Agreement. In total, these investments have created 6,250 new jobs and secured the positions of approximately 20,700 others.

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.

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