Documentary showing GM’s importance for Lansing debuts

Documentary showing GM’s importance for Lansing debuts

A documentary illustrating the story of how Lansing nearly lost its automotive industry and instead convinced General Motors to build its two assembly plants in the area made its big-screen debut on Tuesday night.

Shown to around invite-only 200 people at the Studio C cinema close to the Meridian Mall, the short-film titled "Second Shift: From Crisis to Collaboration" stressed on the importance of GM for the prosperity of Lansing.

It 68-minute documentary recounts Lansing authorities' efforts in the late 1990s to convince GM to reverse its decision to stop manufacturing cars in its aging factories after the end of now-defunct Oldsmobile Alero in 2004.

David Hollister, who was Lansing Mayor at the time, created a blue ribbon panel consisted of government, business, education and community leaders to demonstrate the economic impact GM had on the region.

The panel eventually managed to convince GM to build two assembly plants in the area - Lansing Grand River in 2001 and Lansing Delta Township in 2006. Lansing Grand River plant builds the Cadillac ATS and CTS cars, while Lansing Delta Township builds Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Traverse.

In addition, the auto giant opened Lansing Regional Stamping plant in Delta Township in 2003.

Speaking about the film, Director Tom Lietz, "It's a really compelling story. A lot of people are aware of it, but there are all these nuances to what went on behind the scenes in order to keep GM in town."

The documentary is based on more than 30 interviews, 45 hours of film and nearly 800 pages of transcribed interviews. More than thirty organizations donated nearly $200,000 to produce the documentary.

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