June 18--General Motors is investing $175 million in its Lansing Grand River plant, where it builds Cadillac sedans.
The money will pay for new tooling and equipment for a project that will halt production of two Cadillac sedans and replace them with two yet-to-be-named products.
The plant is currently home to the Chevrolet Camaro coupe, convertible and high performance; the Cadillac CTS and Cadillac ATS.
GM's new cars to be built at the Lansing plant are expected to debut sometime before 2021.
"Cadillac is on the cusp of rolling out the most aggressive product portfolio expansion in the brand's history," Steve Carlisle, Cadillac's president, said in a media statement. "The continued investment in our North American facilities helps ensure we will remain on the forefront of manufacturing technology as our next generation of luxury vehicles are launched."
The investment in Lansing Grand River is welcome news for UAW members and U.S. consumers, UAW Vice President Terry Dittes, director of the UAW-GM Department, said in a media statement.
"We hope General Motors continues the policy of 'we build where we sell,' as American taxpayers counted on that commitment during GM's darkest days when they were on the brink of bankruptcy," said Dittes.
Cadillac is in the midst of a brand renaissance. GM in April abruptly replaced four-year Cadillac chief Johan de Nysschen, with Carlisle. De Nysschen had been leading a $12 billion overhaul designed to help Cadillac compete in the luxury market globally.
It made strong gains in China last year, increasing sales by 51 percent compared with 2016 and selling more vehicles in China than in the U.S.
But Cadillac is making sales strides. Through the end of the first quarter, the brand's new vehicle fleet and retail sales increased 8.1 percent in the U.S. compared with a year ago, according to Kelley Blue Book Sales and Data Report. Globally, it reported first-quarter sales soared 22.5 percent to 96,321 supported by strong sales in China.
Cadillac has had success, too, with the strong-selling XT5, a mid-sized SUV. Cadillac launched the XT5 about two years ago. It competes with the Lincoln MKX, Audi Q5 and BMW X5. The XT5 is built in Spring Hill, Tenn., where GM invested $253 million last fall on tooling in preparation to build it and a "future SUV" there.
Cadillac will roll out the 2020 XT6 large SUV in 2019.
Cadillac will launch the 2019 XT4 compact SUV this fall. It will be built in the Fairfax Assembly and Stampling plant in Kansas City. Industry experts said the XT4 is smartly priced, starting at about $35,000.
Cadillac builds the XTS sedan in Oshawa, Ontario.
Contact Jamie L. LaReau at [email protected] or 313-222-2149. The Lansing State Journal contributed to this story.
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