I can’t remember the last time there was news about General Motors saving jobs and injecting life into a sleepy Michigan township.
We’re all used to stories of GM plants being shuttered and workers fretting about unemployment. Heck, one of GM’s plants is being overtaken by an upstart American car company!
According to The Detroit News, General Motors will invest $800 million to convert its Orion Township Plant, which currently produces the Pontiac G6 and Chevy Malibu, to produce cars more on the scale of the Chevy Aveo and Chevy Cruze.
For the time being, that’s great news. Of course, people will have to actually buy those cars in order for the plant to stay in operation. The odds of an American-built small car succeeding are pretty good, though, assuming the quality, reliability, fuel efficiency, style, and price all work together to bring customers into dealerships.
Let’s hope they do, because there’s already some stiff competition in the small-car market from the perennial import players Honda and Toyota, and then there’s Hyundai and Kia going after value-conscious shoppers. Not to mention Ford’s famous Fiesta and the crowd-pleasing Fiat 500, which will arrive at Chrysler dealerships in 2011, the same year GM hopes to begin production in the retooled Orion plant.
For now, though, let’s let the people of Orion Township celebrate this victory and hope GM can pull a rabbit out of its hat and make this work in the long term.
Do you think GM can produce small cars that will compete against strong-selling cars that are already available?