General Motors will spend $174 million to build a new stamping facility adjacent to its existing Grand River Assembly Plant in Lansing, Michigan. The move, which is expected to create about 145 jobs, will allow the facility to create body panels for the Cadillac ATS and CTS, as well as an as-yet unnamed "future product."
The "future product" mentioned is almost certainly the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro. As we reported in our Sneak Preview story, the next-gen Camaro switches to the same Alpha platform employed by the Cadillac ATS and Cadillac CTS. It's thus no surprise the Camaro would be built alongside the ATS and CTS at Lansing Grand River. GM announced in 2012 that Camaro production would move to the U.S. after the "end of the present model cycle." Moreover, last year GM asked the Lansing city government for a tax abatement to expand the Grand River plant. The Chevrolet Camaro is currently built in Oshawa, Ontario.
The new stamping facility is expected to start operation in 2016, and GM says that it will help the company save $14 million annually in logistics costs because car parts will now be produced closer to where they are assembled into full vehicles.
As our spy photos (pictured) reveal, the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro will adopt a slightly different silhouette than the current car when it arrives next year. It will be lighter than the current car, with a longer wheelbase but approximately the same overall size, and will retain a choice of V-6 and V-8 engines. However, the Camaro could also add a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine borrowed from Cadillac.
The Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant was built in 1999 and currently employs about 1600 workers.