General Motors has announced yet more investments for its domestic assembly plants, this time spending $88 to upgrade the Michigan’s Lansing Grand River plant. GM says that the money will help provide new tooling for “a new model” — which we believe is a future Cadillac.
GM previously announced $190 million in upgrades to Grand River last October, claiming the renovations would allow the plant to build an unnamed new model. The Lansing Grand River Assembly plant current employs 971 people and builds the Cadillac CTS.
We believe last October’s announcement meant the upcoming Cadillac ATS will join the CTS in Lansing. The ATS will be Cadillac’s rear-wheel-drive competitors to the BMW 3 Series. Both the ATS and the next-generation CTS will be built on versions of GM’S Alpha platform; the CTS will grow slightly to better compete with the BMW 5 Series.
A GM spokeswoman wouldn’t specify what this “new model” will be, nor when it would begin production. However, today’s investment is said to be “separate” from the upgrades announced in October 2010, meaning there could be two new cars joining the Grand River schedule. No additional jobs are slated to be added at the plant.
Some reports have suggested this could be a sign of the forthcoming XTS being added to the Grand River facility, although it may still remain tied to the ATS family. The previous announcement was tied to a new small Cadillac sedan, and this announcement could potentially be tied to an additional ATS variant — perhaps coupe, convertible, or sedan — also being added to Grand River’s responsibilities.
The Alpha platform is also rumored to underpin the next-generation Camaro, and previous reports have indicated production of the muscle car could also be assigned to the Lansing Grand River plant. However, since that vehicle isn’t due to launch until 2015 at the very earliest, it’s highly unlikely this announcement is tied to anything other than a new Cadillac.