German roof system specialist and contract assembler Karmann has big plans for its new US plant.
Karmann boss Bernd Lieberoth-Leden says that complete vehicle production in the US is possible at the factory in Plymouth, Michigan.
“We are open to all kinds of suggestions,” he said.
But the company cannot afford to build a paint shop in the US.
“Responsibilities would need to be distributed differently there,” Lieberoth-Leden said.
Karmann of Osnabrück, Germany, begins pre-series production of a folding hardtop it developed for the new Pontiac G6 convertible at the plant this summer. The supplier can produce up to 30,000 roofs a year at the plant, which will have two production lines and employ 250 people.
When asked about the cost of the factory Lieberoth-Leden said it was millions, adding that the price was somewhere in the “high two-digit region.”
For Lieberoth-Leden, the contract with Pontiac parent General Motors is only the beginning. A roof project with Chrysler – reportedly for the successor to the Chrysler Sebring – also may be built in Plymouth.