General Motors plans a $600-million investment at its Fairfax Assembly and Stamping Plant, in Kansas City, Kansas, including the construction of a new 450,000 square-foot paint shop, installation of a new stamping press and other upgrades.
Construction at the 3.2-million-square-foot plant begins later this year and is expected to take about two years to complete, increasing the footprint of the plant by about 15 percent to 3.7 million-square-feet. Vehicle production schedules will be unaffected by the construction, keeping the plant’s three shifts of nearly 4,000 hourly and salaried employees on the job.
“This major investment is a vote of confidence in the employees and leadership of this plant and will allow them to continue producing beautiful, world-class vehicles like the Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse with the same quality workmanship that has defined the Fairfax complex for nearly 70 years,” said GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson.
“General Motors is one of the largest employers in Kansas and Kansas City and this announcement plays an important role in continuing to grow the economy of Kansas,” said Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. “We build great things in Kansas and GM’s commitment means we will continue to do so for years to come.”
The all-new paint shop includes substantial upgrades in technology, and will occupy a new building at Fairfax, with new tooling, robots and state-of-the-art environmental and efficiency enhancements.
In the stamping facility, the upgraded AA3X press will replace the current middle press used to create some of the structural reinforcements for vehicle body frames. The upgraded press is expected to enhance quality and reduce waste through greater accuracy.
"The United Auto Workers have proudly built vehicles in Fairfax for decades and looks forward to being part of the upgrades that will be taking place in the plant," said UAW Vice President Joe Ashton, who directs the union's GM Department. "This commitment to the future of the plant and the workforce is a reminder to all of us that we build the world's best vehicles, with the world's best people."
Currently, 3,877 employees work at the plant, which stretches over 572 acres. The manufacturing area contains 85 acres under its roof and has a pre-construction floor space of 3,044,561 square-feet. In 2012, GM produced 283,213 vehicles at the plant.