GM announced today it would build a "future small, fuel efficient car" at one of three idled U.S Plants: Orion, Michigan; Spring Hill, Tennessee; or Janesville, Wisconsin. How will they decide?
This car is almost certainly not the Chevy Cruze, which has already been promised to the Lordstown, Ohio plant. It's most likely another vehicle like the 2011 Chevy Viva, the company's could-be next entry into the subcompact segment.
GM mentions in their release that "leadership has begun discussions regarding selection criteria with Federal and State government officials from Michigan, Tennessee and Wisconsin." We take this to mean there's some hope of getting the best incentives from local officials to maintain and, possibly, expand job opportunities in their respective regions.
It'll be interesting to see what impact government ownership will have on this decision given both Michigan and Wisconsin are swing states and Tennessee could, theoretically, be brought over to President Obama's side in the next presidential election. Whether or not this has any impact on the decision remains to be seen, though someone will argue the decision was political no matter where the plant goes.
Update: an initial version of this story hinted that it could be for Cruze production, which is unlikely given that the production of that vehicle has been promised to another plant. The corrections have been made.
Statement On The Plant Selection To Produce The New Small Car For GM
On May 29, GM announced that we will build a future small, fuel-efficient car in the United States utilizing an existing UAW-GM assembly plant that is currently on standby capacity status. The assembly plants in consideration are Orion (Michigan), Spring Hill (Tennessee) and Janesville (Wisconsin). Given the importance of this small car program, and in an effort to move quickly to identify the plant, GM leadership has begun discussions regarding selection criteria with Federal and State government officials from Michigan, Tennessee and Wisconsin. We hope to identify and announce the future production site of the small car within the next several weeks.