Reports indicate that General Motors is planning to renew its commitment to a Kansas assembly plant in a very big way. GM has announced that it will give $600 million to the Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas City, Kan., in order to help build a new paint shop and stamping press. Currently, the Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse are made at the facility.
Fairfax Assembly plant big post-bankruptcy investment
General Motors issued a statement today in which it was announced that the Fairfax Assembly plant will be the automaker’s largest single investment in a production plant since the company emerged from the other side of bankruptcy in July 2009. Expansion of the plant is slated to start later in 2013, and it is expected that the work will take approximately two years. Production schedules for the Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse reportedly will not be affected by the construction, according to GM’s written statement.
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The Fairfax Assembly plant, which opened in 1945, currently employs 3,561 hourly workers, as well as 316 workers under salary, numbers which are expected to rise considerably once the paint shop and stamping press near completion. In 2012, 277,454 GM cars were assembled at Fairfax, across three shifts. According to Automotive News, that figure breaks down into 220,893 Malibus and 56,561 LaCrosses.
GM gives Kansas a big thumbs up
The 500,000-square-foot (15 percent) expansion of the Fairfax Assembly plant will expand the facility to 3.7 million square feet, equal to nearly 20 Wal-mart Supercenters. Such is General Motors’ commitment to continued vehicle production in Kansas, noted GM CEO Dan Akerson, who spoke to the automotive press alongside Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and various leaders from GM and the United Auto Workers union.
General Motors’ Fairfax expansion is part of a $1.5 billion plan to improve North American facilities in 2013. GM North America President mark Reuss was quick to point out that the new Fairfax investment is crown jewel in the most recent movement. Previously in 2006, GM invested $651 million to launch the Saturn Aura, and $722 million in 2003 to launch the 2004 Chevrolet Malibu.
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