General Motors continues to invest in pickup production to unseat Ford as the largest truck retailer in America.
Last month, Ford announced that they would be investing $24 million into their Fort Wayne Assembly Plant to help boost production of their Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 light-duty pickups. With an all-new design for the 2019 model year, sales are up 20% since the same time last year and GM needs to increase production to keep up with demand.
Now GM is doing the same for their full-size pickups by investing $150 million in their Flint Assembly Plant. That’s the one that makes the recently redesigned 2020 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500, 3500, and 4500 series of heavy-duty pickups.
GM has invested $1.6 billion in their Flint, Michigan location since 2013 which has helped increase production by almost 40,000 vehicles annually, especially for crew cab and diesel models. Roughly 1,000 new jobs have been added this year, bringing the total number of Flint employees to 5,000 people working on three full shifts.
The current investment will be used in much the same way as was done in Fort Wayne, which will improve tooling and conveyors to smooth production. The work is expected to be completed in the first half of 2020.
“We have tremendous opportunities to grow our heavy-duty pickup business, because we’ve invested in capability, performance, innovation, and capacity,” said GM President Mark Reuss. “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.”
Since 2009, GM has invested $23 billion in its US manufacturing base. A point that GM wants to stress even as they move more manufacturing to Mexico, such as with the Chevrolet Blazer. The move has caused GM to come under fire during a time of heightened sensitivity toward jobs in the current US political climate.