GM Considers New Line of Cars
Jul. 04, 1999
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) _ General Motors Corp. is considering building some components for its next generation of compact and midsize cars at the company's Fairfax plant.
The company would likely move its Pontiac Grand Prix assembly from Kansas City, Kan., to a Canadian plant to make room.
If the deal comes about, the plant would make chassis, drive train and engine components as part of the still-secret new cars, which have a code name of Epsilon.
The Oldsmobile Intrigue assembly line at Fairfax would remain for the time being and even could overlap production for the new Epsilon line.
Workers at Fairfax, which employs about 3,500 people, were advised of the possible change Thursday.
But company spokesman Kyle Johnson said, ``a lot of things have to happen,'' before the company officially makes the change. He declined to answer questions about project costs or employment needs for a retooled plant.
Among the factors that have to be decided is a new labor agreement with local Auto Workers and negotiation of infrastructure and tax incentive deals with state and local officials, Johnson said.
Jim Russell, president of United Auto Workers Local 31, said the company's plan would ensure the long-term viability of the Fairfax plant.
``This is a car GM plans to market worldwide, and we've been chosen to build it,'' Russell said. ``I feel like it's going to give job security to our people, particularly the younger employees.''
However, Russell said some workers are anxious about the departure of the Grand Prix, which has been a popular Pontiac model in recent years.
``I have some concern, because the Grand Prix has given us job security since 1994,'' he said.