General Motors Co. is adding third shifts at its plants in Fairfax, KS; Ft. Wayne, IN; and Delta Township, MI, as it shifts products around as a result of moves to reduce its overall North American capacity.

The third shift will go into effect at Fairfax in January, as GM retools its Orion Township, MI, plant for a new line of small cars due in the U.S. in 2011.

Fairfax, which builds the Chevrolet Malibu and Saturn Aura midsize sedans and recently launched production of the new Buick LaCrosse, will become the sole source of the Malibu when output of that car ends at Orion in November.

Ft. Wayne will add production of heavy-duty fullsize Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups, taking over for the Pontiac, MI, facility slated to close at the end of this month. The third shift will launch in April.

The Delta Township plant near Lansing also will add its third shift in April. Delta is adding the Chevrolet Traverse into the mix with its other midsize cross/utility vehicles (Saturn Outlook, Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia). The Traverse currently is built at the Spring Hill, TN, plant, which will be mothballed in November and placed on standby status.

Yesterday, GM announced it was shifting light-duty pickup production to its Flint, MI, plant by mid-2010 as a result of plans to close its Oshawa, ON, Canada truck plant. Earlier it said it would add a second shift at its Lordstown, OH, plant as it looks to launch the new Chevrolet Cruze small car in spring 2010.

The addition of third shifts at the three plants restores jobs for 2,400 workers, GM says.