GM Lansing Assembly Prepping to Launch New Cadillac Amid Company Still Battling Recall Woes
Click arrows to see additional photos of the 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe.
General Motors' Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant has been on a roll lately, churning out several award-winning Cadillacs in recent years.
The ATS was awarded "Car of the Year" in 2013 and the CTS was named 2014 "Motor Trend Car of the Year."
At the same time, the company has been facing a barrage of recalls along with questions over quality and safety.
As Lansing Grand River gears up to launch the new 2015 ATS Coupe this summer, have the recent recall woes changes how local plants approach vehicles launches?
So far, Cadillac has steered clear of any of the recent quality issues, a point Tony Francavilla, Lansing Regional Plant Manager, was quick to make Thursday during a media event in Lansing announcing the vehicle launch.
"We're going to keep doing what's best for the customer and the product speaks for itself," he said.
Unveiled in January at the auto show in Detroit, the ATS coupe will join the ATS sedan along with the CTS sedan and coupe already being built in Lansing. The plant is also slated to build the next-gen Chevrolet Camaro.
GM says the 2015 ATS Coupe is the division's first-ever compact luxury coupe offering, which will be available in rear-wheel and all-wheel-drive variations.
The coupe is expected to have a starting price at around $30,000.
Kathy Trusty, quality launch manager for the ATS Coupe, said her team hasn't change their approach, quality is still job number one and attention to detail has always been a top priority.
"It doesn't change anything I've been doing," she said. "We always strive for the best quality, we always push everybody, we are not afraid. I mean we're not the popular people in the plant, we're the ones pushing for the quality."
It's an attitude that stretches from management all the way down to the folks on the assembly line.
"We don't want to be an embarrassment to the company, we don't want to be an embarrassment to ourselves," said Randy Freeman, vice president of UAW Local 652.
"We look at [the recalls] and say to ourselves, how can we be better?"
The ATS Coupe will also debut the division's new logo and it will be powered by either a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder or a 3.6L six-cylinder.
Company officials hope the coupe variant will keep the momentum rolling at LGR with another successful car launch.
"The interior on this vehicle is just another step up from the last two vehicles we've launched that have both been award winning vehicles," Francavilla said. "With the ATS and the CTS and now with the Coupe, we're hoping to build on that heritage."
During Thursday's presentation, on behalf of the General Motors Foundations, a check for $50,000 was awarded to the Capital Area United Way, CAUW, as part of the annual Plant City Grant Program.