KANSAS CITY, Kan. --General Motors announced Monday that the company will invest $174 million into the Fairfax plant to support the production of the all-new Chevy Malibu. The announcement came in celebration of the 500 millionth vehicle produced by the company worldwide.
Workers said the retooling means job security for them.
CEO Mary Barra visited the Fairfax plant Monday and said she expects GM to sell 1,000 vehicles per hour, 24 hours a day throughout 2015. Barra said she estimates the sales will result in more than 10 million units sold.
The new 2016 Malibu is a big part of the expansion plan. GM has an ambitious goal to make the Malibu, which is built at the Fairfax plant, the best-selling sedan in the nation and overtake the Toyota Camry.
Fairfax workers said they're up to the task.
"Just taking a look at that car, I can see it's going to be a game changer," said Paul Smith, who has worked at GM plants for 34 years. "Everybody is going to be chasing after the Malibu now. Our competitors are going to see that. The public is going to see it, and I just can't wait to start building it."
GM said it will spend $5.4 billion in total on North American production in the next three years and add more than 3,600 new jobs.
Kansas politicians celebrated the investment. Unified Government Mayor Mark Holland said GM helps provide jobs with livable wages, where workers can afford to buy the products they produce.