NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- General Motors announced Tuesday it would add 1,200 jobs to its Lordstown, Ohio plant in preparation for the launch of its newest small car.
Detroit-based GM said the new third shift at the Ohio plant would support the production of its 2011 Chevrolet Cruze, which was launched in Asia and Europe six months ago to replace the Chevrolet Cobalt.
Production of the new compact car isn't expected to begin until the third quarter of this year. But once underway, GM estimates the new production schedule will generate $47 million in additional payroll, $470,000 in local income taxes, and $1.4 million in state income tax.
"Adding a third shift to build Cruze is an investment with impact far beyond General Motors," said Mark Reuss, president of GM North America, in a press release. "It's an investment in the long-term value of Lordstown and the prosperity of Ohio."
The Lordstown, Ohio, factory, which will produce Cruze models for the United States and Canada, was built in 1966. Some 14.3 million GM cars have been manufactured at the plant, including 1 million Chevrolet Cobalts since the vehicle's launch in 2004.
While GM declined provide price or sales volume estimates for the Cruze, company spokesman Monte Doran did say that the price would be 'competitive' with the Ford Focus, Mazda 3, and Honda Civic.
Reception in the Asia-Pacific and European markets has been strong a "home court advantage" should help propel U.S. sales above the more than 125,000 models already sold overseas, according to Doran.
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