GM to retool Orion plant to build Chevy Aveo

December 16, 2009

GM to retool Orion plant to build Chevy Aveo

By TIM HIGGINS
FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

General Motors Co. plans to build the Chevrolet Aveo compact car at the Orion assembly plant, Mark Reuss, president of North America, said tonight.

Orion Assembly is one of Michigan’s largest manufacturing facilities, with 2,900 workers. The plant, which had made the Chevrolet Malibu, is to be retooled next year to build the small car.
 

“It’s been a long time since we’ve had small cars in the United States built in the United States … that have had the attributes and quality and performance that these cars are going to have,” Reuss said.

 

Reuss made the remark after a presentation of Chevrolet’s upcoming product line for the next two years, which includes a redesigned Malibu mid-sized car and convertible Camaro.

 

While GM had said it planned to build a small car at the Orion plant in 2011, as part of a promise won by the UAW during labor negotiations earlier this year, the company had not said which vehicle would be built there, leaving some to speculate it would be the Spark compact car.

 

GM also plans to announce Thursday that Brian Sweeney will be named the head of the Buick and GMC brands, according to two people familiar with the plans. He replaces Michael Richards who left as the Buick-GMC general manager after nine days on the job.

 

Susan Docherty, GM vice president of sales and marketing, wouldn’t confirm the decision. However, she lavished praise on Sweeney, 42, who has worked on Cadillac, Saab and elsewhere. He is currently the Buick-GMC general sales manager. “He’s a pretty terrific individual,” she said.
 

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