The Lansing Grand River Assembly plant has fully transitioned to a third shift.
General Motors Co. had hired 500 people in January to prepare for the new shift, which was added due to the increasing demand for the Chevrolet Camaro. The new employees were trained throughout the winter and gradually added to the first and second shifts before the plant instated third shift on April 4.
“This is the first time the plant has been fully utilized since it was brand new,” said Mike Green, president of UAW Local 652. “It’s big news for us.”
Lansing Grand River Assembly opened in 2001 and produces the Camaro, Cadillac ATS and CTS.
Demand for the Camaro has grown in recent months.
Camaro deliveries in March were up 15.5 percent to 6,879 from 5,956 last year. For the first quarter, deliveries were up 7.3 percent to 18,581 from 17,320 in the first quarter of 2015. Cadillac CTS deliveries remained flat in March compared to the same time last year while ATS sales declined 8.8 percent in the same period.
Lansing Grand River Assembly reinstated the second shift last summer when it began producing the 2016 Camaro, rehiring most of the 450 people it had laid off in January 2015. Today, roughly 2,300 people are employed at the plant.
"We continue to see the positive effects of General Motors' continued investment in Lansing," said Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero. "We knew the Camaro coming to Lansing meant big things, and it does - jobs, jobs, jobs."
GM is also building a $174 million stamping facility at the plant, which will make parts for the Camaro and Cadillacs. Once completed later this year, it is expected to save GM $14 million in logistics costs annually.
“The Camaro has been really good to us,” Green said. “I’m proud of the UAW membership. They do it right and that’s why (GM) invests in Lansing.”
We would like to thank Lansing State Journal for reprint permission.