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GM to Invest $145 million in Michigan Plant to Build Compact Buick Sedan

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On: Fri, Oct 8, 2010 at 4:08PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

GM to Invest $145 million in Michigan Plant to Build Compact Buick Sedan

General Motors plans to invest $145 million to build a new compact Buick to be named the Verano. The Chevy Aveo subcompact will be built alongside the Verano under contract for a new labor agreement. The Aveo is slotted to be the very first subcompact assembled in the United States to be profitable.

GM stated that the tooling for the Verano and Aveo will be installed at the Orion Township assembly plant in Detroit by summer 2011. Production will begin in the second half of the year. Both vehicles be launched in 2011 as 2012 models. Mark Reuss, president of North American GM stated that “the Verano will be Buick's first compact car in 20 years.”

Mark Reuss, GM’s president of North American operations, said the Verano will be a premium car  designed for buyers who want luxury in something smaller than the new Regal sedan. The Verano evolved from a strategy at GM to attract new customers with a wide variety of small, fuel efficient cars. GM is hopeful that the plan will put the company in a better position in the compact car segment market, which is a competitive part of the market in which GM has NOT been on the cutting edge.

Reuss commented that “U.S. consumers have an appetite for a premium small car that delivers good fuel economy without giving up creature comforts.” Reuss also said at a press conference where he announced plans for the Verano at the Orion plant., "This will be Job 1 in this resurgence."

The Chevy Cruze and the new Buick Verano will share the same platform which will help to reduce overhead costs, promoting the goal of making the subcompact cars affordable to build in the U.S.

Reuss feels that the Buick Verano will meet today’s buyers’ expectations, and that the Verano will be much more than a revamped Cruze. "But we have to demonstrate that," Reuss said.

The Verano was designed to be a compact sedan with many luxury features such as chrome accents, projector headlamps, a very quiet cabin with upgrades in the interior, and many other upgrades that will set it apart from the Chevy Cruze, according to Reuss.
The Orion plant has been slotted to assemble a third vehicle, in addition to the Verano and the Cruz, but no details have yet been released about which vehicle that may be.

An innovative labor agreement is making it possible to build the Aveo and Verano profitably.

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