First Car Off the Line

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Slow and steady, and like something of a superstar, the first Saturn Outlook comes off the line and into the welcoming arms of the people who built it.

"It's been a long time coming," says Randy Thayer, plant manager at LDT.

1700 are employed right now at Lansing Delta Township. As of this moment, their job is building pre-production vehicles in preparation for full-time car making at the newest assembly plant in the GM family.

Plant worker Belinda Cardena says, "It's like the birth of a new child. We knew the name, we knew how much it would weight, but it’s excellent to see something like this come about."

The 600 practice vehicles they'll build in the next several months will test both the product, and the workforce.

"We'll build slow," Thayer says, "get training done, and then ramp up by November."

When it's over, they'll make both the Outlook and the GMC Acadia, yet to be released, side by side. In the spring, they'll add the Buick Enclave to the line-up.

At full staff, Lansing Delta Township will employ 3,200 willing workers ready for a new beginning. They call it the first chapter, marking history by making it.

"This is the first day of the future of Lansing Delta Township," says Art Luna, president of UAW Local 602.