General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC announced plans to invest millions of dollars in U.S. plants Thursday to build new small cars.
GM said it will spend $190 million to build a new Cadillac at its Lansing Grand River plant. GM said it will add 600 jobs and a second shift to the plant, which has 1,100 workers and already is building the Cadillac CTS and STS sedans. The jobs will be filled by laid-off GM workers.
The car will be the smallest in Cadillac's lineup and will compete with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and BMW 3-Series, GM CEO Dan Akerson told employees at the plant, which is about 80 miles west of Detroit.
"I've seen it, and I will tell you, if I was at BMW, I wouldn't be very happy," he said.
GM didn't reveal the name of the vehicle or say when it will go on sale.
Chrysler said it will invest $600 million in its Belvidere, Ill., assembly plant to build new cars starting in 2012. The investment won't create any new jobs, but the company said it will retain the 2,349 jobs currently at the assembly plant and a nearby parts stamping plant.
Company spokeswoman Jodi Tinson would not say what new vehicle the plant will build. But it's likely to be a replacement for the factory's current products, Dodge Caliber and Jeep Compass and Patriot compact sport utility vehicles.
Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has said the company intends to build a 40 mile-per-gallon small car for the U.S., in addition to the Fiat 500, which will go on sale in December.
The Belvidere complex is about 70 miles northwest of Chicago.