GM plans $600M upgrade at Kansas City plant

AP News
Posted: Jan 28, 2013 1:07 PM

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — General Motors announced plans Monday to pour $600 million into a new paint shop and other upgrades at its assembly plant in Kansas City, Kan.

Construction on the 450,000-square-foot paint shop, a new stamping press and efficiency enhancements at the Fairfax Assembly Plant will begin this year and should take about two years to complete, the automaker said in a statement.

"This major investment is a vote of confidence in the employees and leadership of this plant and will allow them to continue producing beautiful, world-class vehicles ... with the same quality workmanship that has defined the Fairfax complex for nearly 70 years," GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson said.

GM, one of the largest employers in Kansas, announced earlier this month that it would invest about $1.5 billion in its North American facilities in 2013.

Gov. Sam Brownback applauded the plant investment, which he said would provide a boost to the state's economy.

Production at the Fairfax plant, where the company makes the Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Malibu, is not expected to be affected by the construction, the company said. GM said the upgrade is designed to cut the amount of energy required to build the cars and reduce water consumption and chemical waste at the 572-acre site, GM said.

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GM employs nearly 3,900 workers at the plant, which has produced more than 12 million vehicles since 1945 and currently builds one vehicle every 58 seconds.

GM sold 9.29 million cars and trucks worldwide in 2012, making it second only behind Japan's Toyota in global sales.