General Motors (GM) has opened a new Cadillac plant at its SAIC-GM joint venture in Shanghai, with the start of production of the CT6 luxury sedan.
The flexible and intelligent state-of-the-art manufacturing facility will support the growth of the Cadillac luxury brand in China while strengthening GM’s overall industry position.
“This is another major milestone for Cadillac in its second-largest market,” said GM Executive Vice President and President of GM China Matt Tsien. “Local production will enable us to satisfy growing demand for luxury vehicles through the introduction of more Cadillac models built in and for China.”
The 477,000-square-metre Cadillac plant represents investment of RMB 8 billion ($1.22 billion). It has a planned annual capacity of 160,000 units. The plant includes a body shop, a paint shop, a general assembly shop, a high-speed test track and auxiliary facilities.
Many advanced manufacturing technologies and processes have been employed in the new plant’s three shops.
Body Shop: The body shop is the first in China that is capable of manufacturing all-aluminum bodies. It consists of two fully automated production lines – one steel and the other aluminum – with 386 robots. The shop has also adopted GM’s patented mixed material welding technologies. They include resistance spot welding of aluminum (a global first on the CT6), laser brazing of aluminum (a Chinese industry first), and extensive use of the industry-leading cold body connection process that uses self-tapping screws and self-pierce rivets.
Paint Shop: The paint shop utilises robots to fully apply paint and coating. World-leading technologies and processes, including membrane pretreatment, electrophoretic coating with high throwing power, second color coating and transparent color coating, provide a translucent finish that showcases the ultimate luxury of the Cadillac brand.
General Assembly Shop: The highly flexible and intelligent general assembly shop supports the production of up to seven models simultaneously. The world-class digital assembly facility has incorporated the industry-leading Internet of Things system, which can monitor torque information for every key fastening point.
The Cadillac plant serves as a ‘green’ benchmark for vehicle manufacturing globally.
The paint shop is the only facility of its kind in China without a concrete chimney. The environmentally friendly spray booth exhaust treatment system and dry venturi scrubbers make the shop nearly 300% cleaner than conventional paint shops, with significantly reduced volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and power consumption.
The general assembly shop likewise introduced an industry-leading automatic exhaust collection and pumping system that substantially increases exhaust collection.
The Cadillac CT6 will be officially introduced in China on January 27.