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April 22, 2010

US: GM reveals new $257m investment

General Motors has unveiled a US$257m investment for its Fairfax site in Kansas and Detroit Hamtramck assembly centre.

General Motors has unveiled a US$257m investment for its Fairfax site in Kansas and Detroit Hamtramck assembly centre.

The cash injection will allow the Fairfax plant to build the next generation Chevrolet Malibu, as well as ensuring Detroit Hamtramck is a second source for the model.

GM’s Fairfax plant currently builds the Chevy Malibu and Buick LaCrosse. Fairfax will become the primary source for the next generation of the Malibu.

For the first three months of this year, GM says its US dealers delivered more than 49,000 Malibu and 14,000 LaCrosse vehicles – a 58% increase.

Detroit Hamtramck will also build the Chevy Volt electric vehicle with extended range, which launches this year. The plant built the first pre-production Volt on the regular assembly line last month.

The Malibu-related investments of US$136m in Fairfax and US$121m in Detroit Hamtramck will include facilities, machinery, equipment and tools.

Since the launch of the new GM last July, the company has announced investments of more than US$1.5bn at 20 facilities in the US and Canada.

Speaking at a ceremony to highlight the US$257m Fairfax and Detroit investment, GM chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre also stressed the importance of the automaker repaying some US$8.4bn of debt early to the US and Canadian governments.

“GM’s ability to pay back the loans ahead of schedule is a sign that our plan is working, and that we are on the right track,” said Whitacre.

“It is also an important first step toward allowing our stockholders to reduce their equity investments in GM.”

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