Meeting a target date set four years ago, GM's new Grand River Plant in Lansing, MI, began assembly of the Cadillac CTS for shipment to customers Nov. 12. Jim Taylor, VLE for prestige vehicles, says the date was fixed four years ago to coincide with the birthday (Nov. 11) of Bernie Lacroix, chief engineer of the CTS. The '03 CTS, the first GM car on the Sigma platform, goes on sale in January.

The Vizon cross/utility vehicle will be the second Cadillac to use the Sigma chassis when it goes into production in the second quarter of 2003. An all-new Seville adopts the chassis beginning in 2004. All three will be built in the same plant, with a capacity of 150,000 units on two shifts. Mr. Taylor says the plan is to build 40,000 units of the entry-level luxury car in the first year, starting with 30 cars a day and ramping up to 38 units per hour at full stride.