Since the 1993 model year, the Chevrolet Camaro and its since long departed Pontiac cousin, the Firebird, have been assembled north of the American border by our Canadian relatives. Well all that’s about to change, now that the 6th-generation Camaro has ditched its Aussie-rooted Zeta chassis for the Alpha, the same one that underpins the Cadillac ATS and CTS.
With the switch to the Caddy-sourced platform, GM North America has determined it to be easier and more cost-effective to build the Camaro under the same roof as its Cadillac relatives.
While we appreciate the pride, hard work and the amount of effort it had taken our Canadian friends at the Ottawa plant to build the immensely popular 2010-2015 Camaro, it is good to finally see the car being assembled in its home country. For years, Camaro and Firebird owners had been getting stones thrown at them for having a “foreign-built” Chevy pony car, and it’s good to see this little matter rectified.
We’ve recently come across this press release issued recently by GM, that provides all of the details of the Camaro assembly being relocated to the United States.
LANSING, Mich. – A $175 million investment for new tooling and equipment for the sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro, and the return of hundreds of workers to build America’s best-selling performance car for the last five years, was announced today.
The facility improvements include three new paint systems for Camaro-specific colors: Summit White, Bright Yellow, and Red Hot. The investment also includes installation of two robotic framers, which allow better dimensional control to provide a more precise drive experience.
The Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant will resume a second shift of 500 jobs in late summer.
The all-new Chevrolet Camaro was introduced on Detroit’s Belle Isle on May 16. The current generation Camaro has been America’s favorite performance car for five consecutive years, attracting both long-term Camaro fans and new buyers to Chevrolet.
To improve on that success, the sixth-generation Camaro elevates every aspect of Camaro with a suite of new technologies, even higher levels of performance and fuel economy, and a leaner, more athletic design.
“I may be the luckiest mayor in America today,” said Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero. “Gearing up for full-scale production of the legendary Chevy Camaro is a new high point in the more than two decades of extraordinary partnership between the City of Lansing, General Motors and the UAW.
“We build the best cars in the world right here in Lansing, and we’re delighted to welcome the 2016 Chevy Camaro to the Lansing-made family of great automobiles.”
Today’s announcement combined with others in the last four weeks accounts for nearly $2.8 billion of the $5.4 billion that GM said April 30 it would invest in U.S. facilities over the next three years.
“With this investment in tooling and equipment, we will continue to do our part to build on the high-quality reputation of this iconic car,” said GM North American Manufacturing Manager Scott Whybrew. “These investments in the Lansing plants are proof of the teams’ quality commitment, to put the customer at the center of everything we do!”
Said UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada: “UAW members have proudly built vehicles in Lansing for more than 100 years. As we help prepare for the launch of the all-new Camaro, we are pleased to continue our tradition of producing quality cars that we love to craft and build and our customers love to drive.”
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of GMEFI Magazine, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles. When he isn’t tuning, testing, or competing with the brand’s current crop of project vehicles, he’s busy tinkering and planning the next modifications for his own cars.