News of January 24, 2001
Chevrolet SSR To Begin Production At The Lansing Craft Centre In 2002
Lansing, Mich. - General Motors announced plans to build the all-new Chevrolet Super Sport Roadster (SSR) at the Lansing Craft Centre in Lansing Township, MI. Production is expected to begin in the fourth quarter 2002, pending the successful completion of economic and regulatory negotiations.
Gary Cowger, GM Group Vice President Manufacturing and Labor Relations, made the announcement during a speech to the 2001 Automotive News World Congress in Detroit.
The news was shared with employees at the Craft Centre by John Buttermore, North America Vehicle Assembly manufacturing manager; Wayne McDonald, plant manager and UAW Local 1618 leaders Tim Driver and Butch Hauser.
"The Chevy SSR is a retro-style roadster with incredible performance," said Gary Cowger. "We're making it happen. We took on the challenge to build a product that's true to the concept," Cowger added.
The SSR, which is based on a new mid-sized truck architecture, provides an unrivaled blend of performance, features and utility in a vehicle. The design draws upon the styling of Chevy's rich heritage to create a one-of-a-kind, open-air driving experience designed to carve its own unique place in the automotive market.
GM will invest approximately $70 million into the facility to accommodate Chevy SSR production. GM is working with Lansing Township officials on financial incentive opportunities to offset part of the initial investment.
The SSR was first introduced as a concept vehicle at the 2000 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Using computerized modeling and competitive low-volume manufacturing processes, the SSR will move from design sketch to showroom floor in just over three years, demonstrating GM's ability to quickly provide customers with unique styling and the latest technical innovations.
"The Chevy SSR is proof of GM's leadership in product innovation and its renewed commitment to creating exciting vehicles for our customers," said John Buttermore. "Our strong engineering and manufacturing systems enable us to respond quickly with innovative entries like the SSR," he added.
The Craft Centre, which presently has 320 hourly employees, was chosen to produce the SSR due to its proven history of producing high-quality, low-volume niche vehicles such as the Buick Reatta, EV1 and Cadillac Eldorado.
Production of the Cadillac Eldorado is planned to continue through the second quarter 2002. The plant will temporarily suspend production in preparation for SSR production which is targeted to begin fourth quarter 2002.
(Jan 16, 2001)