General Motors is in the business of building trucks and if the company’s move to invest $150 million into its truck plant in Flint, Michigan, is any indication, business is good.
Just last month, the company announced plans to invest $24 million into its Ft. Wayne, Indiana plant to help expand its light-duty truck production. Today’s announcement is to ramp up production of GM’s heavy-duty versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.
“We have tremendous opportunities to grow our heavy-duty pickup business, because we’ve invested in capability, performance, innovation and capacity,” said Mark Reuss, GM president.
“Our all-new Chevrolet and GMC HD pickups are the toughest, strongest, most capable heavy-duty pickups we’ve ever brought to market, and our Flint team is up to the challenge to build world-class quality products to drive the growth.”
(GM investing $24M in Ft. Wayne truck plant to boost production. Click Here for the story.)
The company has repeatedly plowed money into 62-year-old Flint Assembly to keep up with the seemingly unending growth in demand for heavy-duty Silverados and Sierras.
GM has invested more than $1.6 billion in the Flint Assembly since 2013, enabling an increase in the truck plant’s production capacity of the all-new Chevrolet and GMC HD pickups by about 40,000 vehicles annually, including more crew cab models and diesels, the company noted.
Additionally, 1,000 new jobs were created this year, bringing employment at the plant to more than 5,000. The new investment will enhance the plant’s conveyors and other tooling to increase production capacity. The work will be completed in the first half of 2020, GM said.
(Click Here for more about how strong sales of pricey pickups helped GM beat earnings estimate.)
With the aforementioned investment in Ft. Wayne, GM is now meeting demand for double cab and regular cab models. Combined sales of the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab pickups, the highest volume model in the fiercely competitive full-size pickup segment, were up 20% in the first quarter of 2019 versus a year ago. GM is projecting another significant increase for the second quarter.
Dealers will build their inventories of the new heavy-duty pickups through the remainder of 2019.
The Flint and Fort Wayne investments are the most recent GM has made to strengthen its growing truck, SUV and crossover business. Other investments include those previously announced in Dayton, Ohio; Parma, Ohio; Romulus, Michigan; Toledo, Ohio; Spring Hill, Tennessee; and Lansing, Michigan.
(GMC tightens up premium segment with 2020 Sierra 1500. Click Here for the story.)
GM was also quick to remind truck fans of its ongoing commitment to the U.S. in light of continuing criticism from President Donald Trump, who chided the company for its “bad investment” in China, noting that since 2009, it has invested more than $23 billion in its U.S. manufacturing base – more than one-quarter of every dollar spent by any automaker.