By on October 22, 2015


General Motors announced Thursday that it would add a second shift to a flexible Detroit plant to prepare for upcoming demand for its cars.

GM will add roughly 1,200 jobs to Detroit-Hamtramck this year to help it build new models, the automaker said in a statement. The plant builds the Chevrolet Volt, Impala and Malibu and the Cadillac ELR there on a single production line. Production of the Cadillac CT6 will start there in early 2016.

According to Automotive News, the plant has three separate lines that can produce a varying number of cars from the Volt to the upcoming redesigned Buick LaCrosse, if production of that car shifts from Kansas City.

The report also says that while the automaker has invested about $1 billion into the 4.1-million square-foot facility over the last five years, the plant has been largely under-utilized. Only 48,400 vehicles have been produced at Hamtramck so far this year. GM’s similarly sized Fairfax plant in Kansas has made around 140,000 this year.

Hamtramck also makes limited quantities of the Malibu and Impala in addition to the Fairfax and Oshawa plants that normally produce those cars. While demand for the Malibu is spiking — especially in Korea — the Impala faces a more uncertain future.

GM CEO Mary Barra recently said that the automaker would consider all models’ performances and futures, and considering Impala’s doesn’t look particularly bright at the moment, the added shift could be particularly unsettling for GM’s Oshawa plant. Sales of the Impala have drifted since their peak in 2007, when Chevrolet sold more than 311,000 models in the U.S. In 2014, Chevrolet sold less than half: 140,280, according to our own Tim Cain.

Automotive News reported that Hamtramck produced about 27,000 Impalas at Hamtramck, compared to 76,000 in Oshawa.

A GM spokeswoman said the added workers at Hamtramck would build all models at the plant — including Impala.

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15 Comments on “General Motors Adding More Workers To Volt Plant...”

  • avatar

    The demand for CT6 will be so strong they needed to add 1,200 employees!

    Seriously though in 2007 the Impala sold was the W-Impala and they were giving them away with rebates at the time. Today there are two models in that 140K figure, the old W-Impala from Oshawa and the new Epi-Impala from Oshawa. W-Impala is probably 40-50% of the 140K figure to fleet in 2014, meaning GM still sold 70-80K examples of the much more expensive Epi-Impala. Add in XTS and Lacrosse and you’re at a 100K+ production figure for the overall model in 2014. This model will not be discontinued as long as the platform production figure is as high, it is disingenuous to suggest otherwise unless you have an inside source.

    • 0 avatar

      70K is more than enough volume to justify it’s existence. Especially considering that it shares stuff with the Malibu, Lacrosse, and XTS. Like you said yesterday, even if Oshawa closes, they’ll still be able to build the LWB Epsilon vehicles. Hamtramck and Fairfax will be able to handle the capacity.

    • 0 avatar

      Cadillac CT6 is going to bomb so hard that it will be hard for even JdN to set the expectations bar low enough.

      They’ll be lucky to sell 9,000 per year, and will have to pile crates of Yellens on the hoods to do so, which will pit Cadillac in a real bind vis-a-vis the fate of the XTS (which has the volume relative to what the flailing CT6 will be to make Cadillac very reluctant to phase out the XTS).

      • 0 avatar

        While in a declining segment, the CT6 will do better than you think.

        Unlike the ATS and CTS, the CT6 does much better with regard to interior room to price ratio.

        No – it’s not going to sell as well as the cheaper XTS, but it’ll do a good bit more than 9k.

        • 0 avatar

          $20-25K off sticker and it will do ok, otherwise not even close. Its the new Seville and they are gonna make you pay more for the V6 at that price point? Seriously? $70K to start gets you nearly into an LS460 and 25% more you’re in the full size German marques. #CadillacDoesNotGetIt

          • 0 avatar

            If you hadn’t noticed, LS460 sales are in the dumps.

            Sure, the LS460 is an old model, but so is the 7 Series and the previous W221 S Class still sold relatively well at the end of its life cycle.

            The CT6 is Cadillac’s competitor for the SWB flagship sedans despite it being longer than the LWB LS460.

            The CT6’s wheelbase is more than 5″ longer than the SWB LS460’s wheelbase and even longer than the LWB LS460.

            The CTS has a cramped rear – that won’t be an issue for the CT6.

            Supposedly, the T4 CT6 will be somewhere in the $50k range, so a certain % of CTS owners could easily trade up if they are looking for more space (at that price-range, the T4 would also be palatable for certain XTS owners).

            The CT6 will have a full-line of engine choices, including new V6 engines, a new V8 (along with new transmissions) and a Voltec-based hybrid.

            So a good bit more interior room, lighter and with new engines (better fuel economy), better interior and better CUE system than for either the CTS or XTS.

          • 0 avatar

            I thought I read there will be a model about CT6 built on its platform, this is the model which will probably be more appropriate in this class. I didn’t know the LWB was 5in longer (as opposed to 3) and that’s good to hear but depending on pricing for LWB plus V6/V8/V6T its going to be near what zee Germans put out with their packages. The base msrp I read was being floated at 70K for CT6 with a 2.0T motor [!]. Figure at least 5K to put you into a V6. This is a lot of ask for from this brand.

            Lexus aside if we look at the competition: The current 7 series and A8L start at 81K and the S-Class at 95K. Now we don’t know what Cadillac is going to offer in terms of performance models so a CT6-V or whatever might be cheaper/better value than the Audi S8 (114K to start) or 750ix (97K to start) but in standard form I’m not seeing the value in the Cadillac. The fact they think its ok to even offer an I4 turbo in this type of model suggests to me they view the CT6 as just another model about CTS and not something “special” as they keep implying in marketing. Maybe that’s just what it is, but its playing in the big leagues in terms of money. Now they want to built some ridiculous hand crafted V12 monster appropriate for sheikhs and Fortune 15 driveways then maybe I will take them seriously (but still prob not), though ultimately that’s not what the marque needs. What it needs is to understand it is no longer top dog in the hierarchy and probably won’t ever be again due to three decades of iffy at best product. Sell an honest premium car for reasonable money and offer at least reasonable reliability. Sure they can market whatever propaganda they want but word of mouth is what keeps sales going. The German marques for better or worse are in control and literally can dump whatever they want on their lease customers. Cadillac’s thinking has been German model archetype and German pricing. So far it really hasn’t been working. I suspect once this bombs you will start seeing cash on the hood as you already see with most of Cadillac’s other models. Remember this is the company that just last year thought they could get $75K for ELR, another niche model.

            My only other thought is in this 80K-100K car space Tesla is eating into the market even if it is a smaller model. S-class will likely continue rule the roost among non-EVs with the 7 series sticking around at least one more generation since it just debuted. The LS may or may no go away and the current A8, D4, debuted in 2009. I could see the Cadillac flopping and the A8 either going away or having one last refresh if the segment continues to shrink. The Cadillac could thrive with realistic pricing simply because historically Cadillac owners like bigger cars. If they didn’t the Deville would have gone away in 2005, the Sigma STS would not have been built, and the XTS wouldn’t be moving much metal. Cadillac sold the Sigma CTS with the idea of 5 series size/performance for 3 series money. Maybe it didn’t work as well as they hoped, but it did work and brought new blood to the brand. Then Alpha debuted and the price went up quite a bit. I don’t know where those Sigma buyers are now but I wouldn’t be surprised if some felt priced out and moved on.

            “Starting MSRP $81,300”


            “Starting at: $95,650*”


            “Starting at $81,500”


  • avatar

    Let’s talk about the elephant in the room here: The Equinox/Terrain. They’ve served their mission well, but are now getting long in the tooth. The market is hot and they need to be updated to stay competitive.

  • avatar

    Despite its flaws, the Equinox has served Chevy very well in its present form; but it needs to morph into something lighter and more fuel efficient.

    • 0 avatar

      This. I think the ‘Nox is a miserably unsung homerun for Chevy.

      August 2015 YTD for the gold-standard CR-V was 229,574 sold.
      Same for the ‘Nox was 192, 505.

      How many other domestic products can run with the Japanese? Only Ford’s CUVs, to my knowledge.

  • avatar

    Good God, just as long as they don’t ever shutter that plant!

    I can still remember the hoo-hah surrounding that — an entire Polish enclave of Hamtramck known as “Poletown” was razed to build that thing, back in 1981. Until I just looked at the Wikipedia article, I had forgotten about the sit-in at one of the Catholic churches in the affected area, the Michigan Supreme Court ruling in GM’s favor, and Hizzoner Himself, Mayor Coleman Young (who always spoke “city of Detroit” as “citi-a’Troit,” being behind it; I do remember the proceedings making national headlines. The site included a former Chrysler plant, and a Jewish cemetery sits under one of the parking lots; Mr. Schreiber, can you provide more detail on that?

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