General Motors‘ brand-new Lansing Grand River (LGR) vehicle assembly plant was officially opened this week. It’s GM’s first all-new U.S. assembly plant since construction began on the Saturn plant in Spring Hill, Tennesse in 1986.

Construction began in late 1999 with production of the new 2003 Cadillac CTS starting in the fourth quarter of 2001. The plant began shipping cars to Cadillac dealers on January 7.

The $US559 million, 1.9-million-square-foot plant is comprised of three buildings — The Body Shop, Paint Department and General Assembly.

The assembly plant and administrative buildings are located on an 82.5 acre brownfield redevelopment site that housed the former Oldsmobile Engine and Components plant — a property that was home to Oldsmobile before GM’s founding in 1908.

LGR is organised by the United Auto Workers Local (branch) 652 and currently employs 725 people. Once fully operational, it will employ 1,500.