LANSING – Three Camaros rolled down the line of GM’s Grand River assembly plant on Monday, one red, one white and one blue.

It was a fitting entrance. This is the first time the Camaro has been built in the U.S. since 1992, when GM moved production from California to Canada.

“It’s here,” said Mike Green, president of the UAW Local 652. “The American muscle car comes back to Lansing.”

The Camaro hasn’t even hit dealership lots yet, and it’s already on the shortlist for the 2016 North American Car of the Year award.

“The sixth generation is a new ball game,” said Scott Whybrew, GM’s North American manufacturing manager, noting the Camaro can hit 60 mph in 5.4 seconds and travel a quarter of a mile in just over 12 seconds. “Our goal is to put the Mustang in our rear view mirror every day.”

The starting price is $26,695 for the Camaro 1LT which is powered by a 2.0L 4-cylinder or 3.6L V6 engine. The 1SS model with a 6.2L V8 engine starts at $37,295. It will be available in coupe and convertible body styles.

“The exterior style is subtle,” said Mark Dickman, the plant’s launch manager. “The real benefit is it’s lighter, there’s more horsepower and the whole redesign of the interior was done real well. I think it’s going to be a fun car to drive.”

On the other side of the plant, massive stamping presses were arriving at the future site of a $174 million stamping facility, which will make parts for the Camaro and Cadillac ATS. Production is expected to begin in 2016 and to save GM $14 million in logistics costs annually.

The three Camaros that rolled down the assembly line are among the first one hundred produced for consumers. Dozens of other Camaros are sitting on back lots at the plant. GM expects Camaros to be available at dealerships by mid-November.

GM invested $175 million in the plant to upgrade its tooling and equipment to support production of the Camaro. This summer, it hired 450 employees to work second shift to keep up with production demand. The plant has been producing pilot Camaros for the past few months for testing purposes.

“For this iconic brand to be made in Michgan puts us on the map,” said Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero. “This says we do good work. It’s a stepping point for economic development.”

Contact Alexander Alusheff at (517) 388-5973 or Follow him on Twitter @alexalusheff.