General Motors has confirmed that its Orion Township, Michigan assembly plant will build the next generation Pontiac Grand Am line.

GM will spend approximately $300 million to renovate the plant to build the new cars and production should begin in the second half of 2004.

GM will renovate and retool the plant’s general assembly area, body shop and paint shop but is not expecting any significant plant downtime as it prepares the facility for the new models.

Prior to the launch of the all-new Grand Am, Orion plans to reinstate its second shift of production axed in April 2002 as demand fell for the Pontiac Bonneville, Oldsmobile Aurora and Buick Park Avenue models made there – 150,662 units in 2001.

The Grand Am is Pontiac’s best selling vehicle with 182,193 shifted in the 2001 model year.

Orion Assembly currently employs approximately 2,000 hourly and 170 salaried employees.