General Motors’ China operation has opened its Phase III manufacturing facility and commenced production of the first of the new-generation Chevrolet Cruze, commemorating 10 years of Shanghai GM Norsom Motors, GM China’s joint venture with SAIC and Shanghai GM.
The new Chevrolet Cruze represents Shanghai GM’s newest entry in the midsize compact car segment. The Cruze was developed for China on GM’s latest architecture and a choice of new 1.4T and 1.5L Ecotec engines.
Additionally, the Phase III powertrain plant is GM’s first facility in the world to put the Ecotec engines into volume production − Shanghai GM Norsom Motors has an annual production capacity of 500,000 vehicles and 450,000 engines. The facility includes press, body, paint, powertrain, and general assembly shops plus auxiliary powertrain facilities, a distribution center, and a high-speed test track.
Advanced global manufacturing technology and processes have been adopted, including an environmentally friendly paint shop that features a fully automated painting process for both interior and exterior, a world-class fully automated high-speed press, a decoiling and blanking production line, and Shanghai GM’s first highly automated flexible body manufacturing system with 518 robots. The latter gives the body shop a domestic industry-leading automation rate of 93 percent.
Like the Chinese Cruze, the 2016 Cruze that we can expect in the U.S will also come with an upscale and more refined interior, complete with an eight-inch color touch screen with MyLink 2.0 infotainment system. Its debut will likely occur at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.