By on February 28, 2020

Given the disparity between the U.S. and Canadian auto industries, it’s not surprising that Friday started with news of a shift dropped at Fiat Chrysler’s Windsor, Ontario minivan plant and ends with two more added at General Motors facilities just across the border.

GM said today that a shift each will be added to its two Lansing, Michigan assembly plants; one to support a brace of new sedans (this could be the last time anyone writes such a statement), the other to support — what else? — crossover production.

Lansing Grand River Assembly stands to attract another 400 employees to help ramp up production of the Cadillac CT4 and CT5 sedans. The plant’s second shift comes on in the second quarter of the year.

At GM’s Lansing Delta Township Assembly, the Chevrolet Traverse/Buick  Enclave line adds a third shift of 800 workers on the same timetable as LGR. Both plants were the recipient of cash infusions topping $200 million over the past couple of years.

For GM’s sake, one hopes the CT4 and CT5 perform better than the incredibly shrinking ATS and CTS that came before. As for the Traverse and Enclave, neither model shows any contraction in the previous year. Despite weathering a fourth-quarter slump, Traverse sales rose an infinitesimal 0.4 percent in 2019, earning the full-size crossover its best annual volume in its 11-year history.

The Enclave, despite selling in significantly smaller numbers than its bowtie brother, fared better in 2019, with volume up 3 percent. That’s the best showing of the model’s current generation, though the previous-gen Enclave regularly topped 2019’s tally. In fact, it did so from 2010 to 2016.

As for the first two months of 2020, GM’s quarterly reporting practices keep us from enjoying the answer to this sales query. Cleary, neither model tanked.

[Image: General Motors]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

35 Comments on “GM Adding Two Shifts At Michigan Plants...”


  • avatar
    NormSV650

    The Enclave us ranked best in segment according to Consumer Reports.

    • 0 avatar

      The Enclave did well in the magazines tests, but the majority of GM vehicles score below average. Have you noticed that in most comparison tests GM vehicles finish at the back of the pack.

  • avatar
    Peter Gazis

    For those of you keeping track. GM now has:
    6 U.S. plants running on 3 Shifts: Flint MI; Fort Wayne IN; Wenzville MO; Arlington TX; Spring Hill TN & Lansing/Delta Township MI
    3 U.S. plants running on 2 Shifts: Bowling Green KY; Kansas City KS & Lansing /Grand River
    1 U.S. plant on 1 Shift: Orion Lakes MI
    and 1 on stand by Detroit/Hamtramck MI

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      Peter,

      So that’s 11 U.S. final assembly plants currently operating or on standby.

      And then we see the following U.S. final assembly plants which GM no longer operates:
      • Fremont Assembly (2009)
      • Baltimore Assembly (2005)
      • Buick City (1999)
      • Detroit Assembly (1987)
      • Doraville Assembly (2008)
      • Framingham Assembly (1989)
      • Janesville Assembly (2009)
      • Lakewood Assembly (1990)
      • Leeds Assembly (1988)
      • Linden Assembly (2005)
      • Moraine Assembly (2008)
      • Norwood Assembly (1987)
      • Oklahoma City Assembly (2006)
      • Pontiac West Assembly (1994)
      • Pontiac Assembly (1988)
      • Pontiac East Assembly (2009)
      • Pontiac Central Assembly (1989)
      • Shreveport Operations (2012)
      • North Tarrytown Assembly (1986)
      • South Gate Assembly (1982)
      • St. Louis Truck Assembly (1986)
      • Van Nuys Assembly (1992)
      • Willow Run Assembly (1992)
      • Wilmington Assembly (2009)
      • Lordstown Assembly (2019)

      (I left off some truck and bus plants, and of course we aren’t covering stamping, components or powertrain plants.)

      Shall we do Canada next, or Mexico?

      • 0 avatar
        Peter Gazis

        Toolguy

        Change happens, GM’s 1980 marketshare of 50% was unsustainable. Especially with imports from low wage countries coming in.. Also in 1980 the average U.S. assembly plant was turning out 30,000 vehicles a year. Today GM’s U.S. average is over 200,000 vehicles a year.

        My point was that GM still builds a large number of vehicles in the U.S. What was your point?

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Why don’t you do one with the suppliers GM uses now and used in the past.

          Here’s one to start you off that’s now defunct.

          Collins & Aikman (2005) (United States, various locations throughout the country)

          • 0 avatar
            Peter Gazis

            Hummer

            You don’t blame the customer when a business shuts down. You blame the business for not finding new customers.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          @Peter Gazis: It wasn’t low wages that hurt GM. It was a total disregard for quality. Production over quality. Not second-hand information either. As an intern, I spent time in several GMAD plants and witnessed it myself.

        • 0 avatar
          65corvair

          If GM had made quality and reliable cars they very likely still have 50% of the market today. If you owned an ’80 GM it was likely your last GM. Compare an ’80’s Accord and an 80’s Chevy Citation.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            I’ll bite on this.

            Back in the day, spot on.

            Today, just above every Honda of that era have either rusted into the ground decades ago or became a non-running nightmare from the hot mess of vacuum lines under their hood.

            There is a stunning number of Chevettes and Citations still soldiering on in the Barnfinds, BaT, Malaise Motors, and Craig List’s of the world.

            I would add that a certain percentage of Hondas were also destroyed by the V-TEC stickers cut the springs coffee can muffler yo Paul Walker is LYFE set. It wasn’t all the tinworm and vacuum lines.

            Not arguing that GMs of that era where very poorly built, but I will argue that many more soldiered on running badly long after many others makes stopped running.

            Back then? I’d buy the Honda.

            Today looking at a “classic?” I’d likely buy the Citation.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            The highest quality vehicles I’ve owned in my life were built by ’88-’99 GM. And, these were generally purchased 10+ years after they were new.

            Better built than my post-2000 GM products. Better built than my Charger. Better built than my Stinger. Better built than the extended family’s Matrix, Ram, Nissan, and Subaru.

        • 0 avatar
          ToolGuy

          Peter, I believe you’re a salesperson. And your selective use of ‘facts’ as talking points and generally tearing down the competition instead of selling your products on their own merits strikes me as manipulative. So I like to occasionally offer some balance (and yes, shattering the backboard is fun sometimes).

          You make an interesting point about GM plant sizes. They used to intentionally run smaller so that any localized strike action would have a relatively small impact, i.e., make it easier to stand on the neck of labor.

          Happy selling.

      • 0 avatar
        redapple

        TOOLGUY….

        GM has 11 open Assy Plants. Your list shows 25: TWENTY FIVE that have closed.
        If you were to add in supplier plants, the devastation would be gut wrenching.
        I was in Aerospace for 4 years. The biggest single mistake in my life was leaving the aerospace industry AND COMING BACK TO AUTOMOTIVE.

        Kiddies. DO NOT WORK IN AUTOMOTIVE. IT WILL DESTROY YOUR LIFE AND FORTUNE.

        • 0 avatar
          redgolf

          “Kiddies. DO NOT WORK IN AUTOMOTIVE. IT WILL DESTROY YOUR LIFE AND FORTUNE.”
          I totally disagree with this statement, take it from someone who’s been there done that, had I stay in the food store, steel mill, cable tv or hanging commercial wall covering vs nearly 40 years in the auto industry my life would have been pure he__! I would of had no pension, no health care, no money vs having a decent retirement at 62 with a nice home, auto, health insurance and a very good family life, not having to worry about bills, life is what you make it, choose your jobs wisely!

          • 0 avatar
            redapple

            REDGOLF

            I STAND CORRECTED. IF YOU HAVE A BS AND MS DEGREE- AUTOMOTIVE IS SHEET.
            IF YOU ARE HOURLY- THERE IS NO BETTER JOB. PERIOD. HARD STOP.

            IN fact, a skilled trades UAW Big 3 job is one of the best jobs in the world. 0 responsibilities. 0 deliverable. 0 decisions, low stress. varied daily tasks. Just do what the Skilled trades supervisor tells you to do. (I was a skilled trades supervisor at a GM Powertrain plant and then later at an assembly plant)

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        Canada

        . Ingersoll CAMI plant. Open …but no future product allocation yet.

        Closed
        St Therese Que
        Scarborough Van assembly
        Oshawa Truck assembly
        Oshawa # 1 plant assembly
        Oshawa # 2 plant assembly

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          Not sure what Ontario minivan plant has in common with Lansing SUV plant aside one segment is rising in sales and the other is declining.

          Not unless Steph are stirring border wars?

          • 0 avatar
            Zoomers_StandingOnGenius_Shoulders

            @ajla. You’re joking right? Because that might be the funniest thing I’ve read in quite a long time.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Maybe he purchased GM B or D body cars of the period. Those just sort of ran forever without a ton of drama. You could also still get GM products powered by the “Our Lord and Savior” 3800 back then. Perhaps uninspiring in many cases but many of those cars like the B Bodies and the 3800 Buicks turned out to be excellent and if buying in the 10 year old range I can see how they may be better buys than the cars you mention.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            No, I am not joking. The Bonnevilles, Buicks, and pre N* Cadillacs I’ve owned that were built during that period have been of excellent quality.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    The first graph in this article shows GM worldwide employment going from ~100,000 in the 1920’s to ~200,000 in the 1930’s, continuing to climb above 800,000 in the 1970’s-1980’s, and then finishing up in 2009 back around the 200,000 level:
    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/economy/rise-fall-u-s-corporations

    The graph here picks up the story from 2010 through 2019. 2019 worldwide GM employment is down to 164,000 (1920’s-1930’s level):
    https://www.statista.com/statistics/239843/employees-of-general-motors/

    But if U.S. plant employment is your thing, in 2019 GM had 48,000 hourly workers in the U.S. and 48,000 salaried workers in the U.S.:
    https://www.statista.com/statistics/741381/employees-of-general-motors-by-in-us/

    “GM and its joint ventures in China have more than 58,000 employees.”
    https://www.gmchina.com/company/cn/en/gm/company/about-gm-china.html

    According to GM’s 2019 10K, GM International has 37,000 employees, so the 58,000 can’t be included in the 164,000.

    So just for kicks (rough math) – take GM’s 2019 employment of 164,000, and subtract their 48,000 U.S. salaried workforce [because global headquarters is in USA] = 116,000 workers worldwide who are not U.S. salaried employees. Add 70% of the 58,000 China workers (using a 30% guess as to salaried % in China), gives 156,600 worldwide ‘assembly’ employees (rough estimate).

    48,000 USA hourly workers / 156,600 worldwide figure from above means roughly 70% of the people assembling GM vehicles worldwide are NOT in the USA.

    One take on the situation:
    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/gm-now-employs-more-workers-in-china-than-in-the-u-s/

  • avatar
    JEFFSHADOW

    If GM is serious about selling new sedans, they need to get away from the ridiculous alpha-numeric model designations.
    This time. . . learn from Lincoln!
    CT5 is SEVILLE, again!
    CT4 can be DEVILLE. . .anything but the current.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick_515

      I don’t know. I’ll consider the CT5. But I’d never buy grandpa’s Seville.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Once all the Boomers die, they can finally revive the CIMARRON.

        • 0 avatar
          Robotdawn

          I despise the Boomers insult, but it has to be the Boomers keeping the DeVille etc names alive as options. Unless Cadillac wants to aim at the retiree market just in time for them to die off, they should stick with the alphabet soup, or go with something from the way-way back days.

        • 0 avatar
          ToolGuy

          Did you say CINNABON?

          (Cue Homer Simpson-style drool sound…)

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Hmmmmmmm, CINNABON!!!

            I hang out there often with friends, for breakfast.

            We’ve got a real nice one in the Food Court Post Exchange Complex at Fort Bliss, TX.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Bliss probably has the nicest food court in the Army. I am out there frequently and hit it up often. White Sands on the other hand…

  • avatar
    downunder

    A pity that they still can’t train engineers to do RHD. I’m sure some of those production line workers can differentiate between parts for LHD & RHD Dash and pedal box and a floor pan.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “Lansing Grand River Assembly stands to attract another 400 employees to help ramp up production of the Cadillac CT4 and CT5 sedans. ”

    I hope those 400 save their money because they probably won’t be on the payroll too long.

  • avatar
    jfk-usaf

    People want quality. GM hasn’t figured that out yet. Sit in a $30k something CUV from a Hyundai or Toyota then make your way over to a GM dealer and sit in one at the same price point. You’ll immediately see the difference. Look at the performance specs on their engines. Their new Cadillac SUV that looks so much like a Volvo XC90 has two more cylinders and somehow has like 40 less HP and even less Tq. Make a good compelling product and people will buy it from you… Check the new interior of their newly redesigned trucks. doesn’t hold a candle to the new Ram let alone the segment leader F-150. Try harder, hire the correct people…

  • avatar
    jfk-usaf

    People want quality. GM hasn’t figured that out yet. Sit in a $30k something CUV from a Hyundai or Toyota then make your way over to a GM dealer and sit in one at the same price point. You’ll immediately see the difference. Look at the performance specs on their engines. Their new Cadillac SUV that looks so much like a Volvo XC90 has two more cylinders and somehow has like 40 less HP and even less Tq. Make a good compelling product and people will buy it from you… Check the new interior of their newly redesigned trucks. doesn’t hold a candle to the new Ram let alone the segment leader F-150. Try harder, hire the correct people…

    • 0 avatar
      Robotdawn

      I’ve done just exactly that, sat in many different cars/SUVs and test driven them, and I have zero idea what you mean. I don’t have any problem with what GM makes at all. I think it’s good stuff. I won’t argue quality with a Toyota or Honda person, although I hear people complain about their quality lately, they just have too good of a track record. Any other car make I would say GM does fine against.

      I dislike GM’s lack of producing a muscle car, or heck any sporty car, in Chevy trim, but no one is doing that except Dodge in a 30 year old body, so I assume I missed my window with the SS, and that’s it.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “People want quality. GM hasn’t figured that out yet. ”

      Not only is “low or no quality” still a real-world issue for GM today, but GM is just not competitive with other brands in the real world.

      Take as an example the best selling vehicles in America, pickup trucks, and compare similarly priced 1/2-ton pickup trucks from GM against those of Ford and RAM.

      GM can’t even qualify as an also-ran, not on value, not on quality, and not on price (not even with the huge discounts GM is forced to offer).

      No wonder that Tundra and Titan exist and continue to sell, albeit in smaller numbers.

      It’s great for GM and the UAW that GM is adding two shifts but maybe that is because GM cut back too much in the past to assist their recovery after they died (and the ensuing aftermath of bailouts and nationalization in 2009).

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • rpn453: I’m surprised they sold so many of these things. It would be embarrassing to drive something so slow...
  • Daniel J: Don’t tell the folks here(we live in the same city) that. They are all upset that the police here...
  • mcs: I’ve always had problems with latex gloves when working on cars. They don’t offer any protection,...
  • Daniel J: This really isn’t journalism. This is an op-ed or blog piece at best.
  • Daniel J: Some rambling thoughts. 1. Vote in county and municipal elections. On average, most are only at 30 percent...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber