Detroit Chevrolet Dealers -- Wally Edgar Chevrolet - GM's CHEVROLET SONIC Job #1

$600 Million re-tooling of the GM Orion Assembly plant produces first Chevrolet Sonic for the North American Market.
By: Gordy O'Connor
Feb. 28, 2011 - PRLog -- Lake Orion Mi.: Orion Assembly and UAW Local 5960 took a
big step forward when the first Chevrolet Sonic was built
off the end of the production line. The vehicle was built by
Team Leaders, Critical Job Operators and Core Team Members
who have been in the plant training for just such an event.
The car, a white Sonic, was used to begin to proof out the build.
Orion Assembly and Uaw Local 5960 will move forward with the
process and  continue the de-bugging of equipment critical to it's
success. By all accounts, the build was a great achievement and
only the first of many to come.

The retooling efforts will ready the plant for production of two upcoming small cars. One, the Buick Verano, a premium compact sedan slated for arrival in 2012 and essentially an upmarket version of the Chevrolet Cruze, will likely become Buick's most efficient model ever produced. The second vehicle, the Chevrolet Sonic, which hit the stage at the North American International Auto Show , will be built alongside the Verano at Orion Assembly.
GM's $145 million investment brings total spending at Orion Assembly to $600 million. The funding should help retain 1,550 salaried and hourly jobs there and 120 additional jobs at the nearby Pontiac Metal Center stamping plant.

Orion Assembly commenced production on December 1, 1983 with the 1985 model C-body cars.[2] It produced the Chevrolet Malibu and Pontiac G6 until 2009, when it was idled under the GM bankruptcy. Under a new agreement with the UAW, the plant will begin assembling the next generation Chevrolet Sonic subcompact this year, along with the Buick Verano compact sedan for 2012. In the past, GM would assemble subcompact vehicles in low-cost labor countries such as Mexico or out of their GM Daewoo subsidiary in South Korea (Building the new 2012 version still being called Aveo). Under the new agreement with the UAW, GM will use lower cost labor and slimmed down labor rules to make assembling subcompact vehicles in the US competitive. This was in response to GM's previous plan to import their new subcompact from China. Orion township and the State of Michigan offered competitive tax breaks to keep the plant open and to build the new subcompact. Orion's bid was selected over other bids from plants in Wisconsin and Tennessee.

At the October Press event, GM President of North America Mark Reuss offered that one of his first jobs with GM was as a Robotic Programmer at the plant and had  fond memories of the facility.
The Orion Facilities mission is to be able to build sub-compact vehicles at a profit which the Detroit Big 3 have not accomplished in the past.

Wally Edgar Chevrolet
Photo: UAW local 5960

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Page Updated Last on: Mar 15, 2011
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