GM Money for Manufacturing in Michigan
Late last week General Motors announced that it is spending some serious money for manufacturing in southeastern Michigan. Serious as in $200-million.
Of the money, the Orion Assembly Plant—where the Chevrolet Sonic and Buick Verano are produced—will get $160-million for tooling and equipment.
The Pontiac Metal Center—which was established in 1926 as part of the Oakland Motor Car company and which presently produces parts for vehicles ranging from the Chevy Cruze to the Cadillac CTS, the Impala to the Yukon—will be receiving $40-million for new dies.
Both investments are for “a future vehicle program.”
It is worth noting that the $200-million is on top of some $575-million that General Motors has invested in the 4.3-million sq. ft. Orion Assembly and the 1.2-million sq. ft. Pontiac Metal Center since 2010.
Cathy Clegg described the latest investment as “a shot in the arm for these two terrific plants known for their teamwork an employee engagement.”
While there are no new jobs being created at the plants as a result of the announced investment, presumably the women and men who work at Orion and Pontiac are going to be having a happier Thanksgiving, knowing of the importance of their plants—to say nothing of those who are at the tooling and equipment vendors that GM will tap for sourcing.
Here's an overview of the study of assembly plant productivity that gets the undivided attention of all automakers: "The Harbour Report." Although the Big Three companies are getting better, they still have a way to go. But given the levels of competition, better won't be good enough for some plants, it seems.
Honda is an engine company.
Although the term “continuous improvement” is generally associated with another company, Honda is certainly pursuing that approach, as is evidenced by the Accord, which is now in its ninth generation.