Yesterday, reports suggested that General Motors was on the cusp of announcing a $190 million upgrade to its Lansing Grand River assembly plant in Lansing, Michigan. Earlier this morning, GM confirmed the investment, which is designed to allow the plant to build a new Cadillac model.
“America’s fastest-growing luxury brand this year is about to get even more competitive with the addition of an all-new small luxury car,” Dan Ackerson, CEO of General Motors, said during a press conference this morning. “This investment demonstrates GM’s commitment to Cadillac, and to a strong U.S. manufacturing base.”
Although Ackerson didn’t reveal the Cadillac model by name, mention of an all-new small luxury car points directly to the forthcoming ATS model range. The model, which is designed to compete against the BMW’s 3 Series, will allow the next iteration of the CTS to grow in size to target the BMW 5 Series. Both models are expected to share GM’s next-generation Alpha rear-wheel-drive architecture, and as announced today, will be built within the same factory.
GM has yet to officially reveal details of the ATS, but it’s widely believed the car will be built in several different forms. A coupe and sedan are natural choices, but to target the 3 Series, Cadillac is also reportedly considering both convertible and wagon variants. Powertrain choices reportedly include a number of small-displacement, turbocharged engines, including a four-cylinder and two V-6 offerings. Power will be sent to the rear wheels, but all-wheel-drive will eventually be offered as an option.
GM will, however, detail the immediate economic benefit of its investment. According to the automaker, the addition of the ATS line to the Grand River facility (which presently builds only the CTS family) will add a second shift and 600 jobs. That boon, however, may not be immediate — the ATS isn’t scheduled to enter production until late 2013 or early 2014.