GM celebrates 500 million cars made

Posted on 14 May 2015 by Tim Brown

Globally, more than 500 million General Motors-branded vehicles have been built – the most of any automaker by far with Ford coming in just short of 400 million.

GM CEO Mary Barra and GM North America and Global Chevrolet President Alan Batey celebrated the milestone this month with customers, employees and dealers at the Fairfax (Kansas) Assembly plant, and surprised Iraqi war veteran Trent Brining with a “key” to a 2016 Chevrolet Malibu. Production of the midsize sedan begins at the plant later this year.

Barra also announced that in the third week of May, all US salaried and represented employees and retirees can share a one-time Customer Appreciation Discount.

“During 2015, we expect to sell more than 1,000 new vehicles per hour, 24 hours per day,” said Barra. “This adds up to nearly 10 million vehicles, the most in our history. I look at this extraordinary volume as 10 million opportunities to prove what kind of company we are and to say thank you.”

Batey announced GM will invest $174m in the Fairfax plant for new equipment and technology to support production of the 2016 Malibu and improve customer satisfaction. One enhancement – a “Shake and Rattle” booth – simulates any road condition a customer might experience – and identifies sources of noise so they can be fixed.

“Every element of the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu was designed to give our customers a beautiful and high-quality sedan with technologies that will make their lives easier and safer,” said Batey. “It will all come together here at Fairfax, and the men and women who work here can hardly wait to get started.”

The ninth-generation Malibu, revealed last month at the New York International Auto Show offers an available, industry-first Teen Driver feature, a built-in system that let parents view on a display how their teen drove the vehicle. The technology is designed to help parents teach safe driving habits. Automobile crashes are the number one cause of teen deaths, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Last week, GM announced it will invest $5.4bn over three years to build the next generations of future vehicles in the U.S., including $783.5 million in three facilities in the state of Michigan and the $174 million announced today.

Since June 2009, GM has announced U.S. facility investments of approximately $16.8 billion. About $11.4bnn of that has come since the 2011 UAW-GM National Agreement. In total, these investments have created 3,650 new jobs and secured the positions of approximately 20,700 others.

Globally since 2009, GM has announced facility investments totaling about $36.7bn. This includes the US facility investments plus $5.75bn in Mexico, $1.5bn in Canada and $12.7bn in other global regions outside GM North America.