GM plant in Mexico will build Sonics starting in mid-2012

General Motors says output from Orion Township will meet U.S. sales demand for the Sonic.

Mike Colias
and David Barkholz
Automotive News -- July 11, 2011 - 12:01 am ET

General Motors intends to build the Chevrolet Sonic subcompact in Mexico as well as in Michigan.

But GM says production from the plant in Orion Township, near Detroit, will meet U.S. sales demand for the Sonic.

Auto analyst Michael Robinet says most of the Mexican Sonics will go to Mexico and Latin America. But he said some may be sold in the United States.

GM plans the Mexico launch in mid-2012 at its Ramos Arizpe plant, said Robinet, director of global production forecasting at consultant IHS Automotive.

After building 28,000 Sonics in Mexico in 2012, GM is expected to reach full production of 69,000 in 2013, Robinet said. That's just 15,000 fewer than IHS Automotive predicts Orion will build in 2013, he said.

GM spokeswoman Kim Carpenter declined to comment on Sonic production in Mexico.

IHS Automotive says GM will produce 37,000 Sonics at Orion in 2011 and 87,000 in 2012 when it reaches full production.

GM still builds the car that the Sonic will replace, the Chevrolet Aveo, at its Mexican plant in San Luis Potosi. The plant assembles about 1,500 Aveos per week.