General Motors announced today that they're going to utilize and retool idled assembly and stamping facility for future production for new small cars. GM didn't announce which new cars, but we're betting one of them will be the new 2011 Chevrolet Spark. (above photo)
2011 Chevrolet CruzeEnlarge Photo
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. Given that the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze shares the same architecture new 2011 Chevy Orlando, it would seem likely the two will share a manufacturing facility. As we reported, last year GM committed to build the Cruze in their Lordstown, Ohio plant.
2008 Chevrolet Orlando ConceptEnlarge Photo
GM supported the vague announcement by saying that it would help the company meet future fuel economy regulations, but we also suspect that the company is bowing to pressure from powerful legislators and the UAW regarding recent announcements about importing small cars from China. Plus, they're going to file Chapter 11 on Monday, so we can't blame them for being vague.
"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."
As we learn more, we'll keep you informed.