2017 GMC Acadia production to Tennessee

Posted at 6:48 PM, Jan 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-13 09:34:19-05

It's smaller and it's got an all new look.

"It's all totally redesigned from the ground up both exterior and interior," explained GMC's Director of Marketing, Rick Latek.

GM re-designed the 2017 Acadia because competition for crossovers was heating up. And, because customers wanted something new.

"They want the car to be a little smaller, more garage-able, more park-able, more maneuverable," engineer, Rick Spina, said. "So, we figured out a way to put seven people comfortably in the car, yet still get you that maneuverability."

I still can't lift it. But, the 2017 Acadia is 700 pounds lighter than the first generation. And, that's not the only difference.

"When the car's lighter and smaller, it's more fuel efficient," Spina said.

And, it's got a number of safety upgrades aimed at preventing crashes.

"Things like lane departure warning, which helps tell you, hey you're drifting over and it'll nudge you back if you choose to have it activated," Spina explained. "Forward collision alert is another one we'd like to talk about. It's sort of a, hey you're closing in on the guy in front of you too fast, wake up, pay attention."

Also unlike the 1st generation, the 2017 Acadia will be built in Spring Hill, Tennessee.

"Sometimes when one plant has an opening, we'll put a product in there which eventually creates an opening in another plant. In this case, there'll be a little bit of an opening in Lansing," Spina explained.

But, Delta workers have no need to worry because a new vehicle could be headed there for production soon.

"Something else will go in it's place. I'm very confident. I wouldn't be concerned," Spina assured News Ten.

Why else would GM have just invested a half a billion dollars in the Delta Plant?

"If there was nothing else coming in there, we certainly wouldn't put our money in there. The guys have been doing a nice job building a quality vehicle there. We would be foolish, in my opinion, as the engineer, we'd be foolish not to honor that commitment," Spina said.

For now, the current models will continue to roll off the Delta assembly line, at least for the next few months.

Mayor Bernero issued a statement about the move. He told us, "GM has invested over $1 billion in their Lansing facilities over the last decade, retaining and creating thousands of jobs. I am grateful and confident that they will continue building world-class cars at Lansing Delta and LGR for years to come."