GM expands production of Chevrolet Colorado, Canyon at Wentzville Plant to meet global demand

Article by Andrew Christian, on February 24, 2016

According to a General Motors (GM) Company executive, the automobile manufacturer will raise the production rate of its Chevrolet Colorado midsize pickup, which has suffered from low supply since it was launched for customer sales 18 months ago.

Production and assembly of the Chevrolet Colorado are being held at GM's plant in Wentzville, Missouri, where its sibling vehicle GMC Canyon is also produced. According to Chevrolet Director of Truck Marketing Sandor Piszar, there is a "hard tooling capacity on the line.”

To meet the demand for the trucks, Piszar said that the company will increase the production capacity at its Wentzville plant. Additionally, GM Wentzville plant spokesman Darin Copeland confirmed that the company is working on the line speed to produce more trucks.

Copeland added that the procedure is expected to be fulfilled in the coming weeks. He believes that "small production increases" will lead to greater production rates in just a year. However, GM refused to disclose the proposed increment figure.

Sales of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon have exceeded the company's projections. Last year, 114,507 units combined were sold, well above the expectation range of 73,000 to 99,000.

Currently, there are about 3,700 employees at the Wentzville plant, which run on three shifts per day and weekend overtime to accomplish the necessary production rate that meets overall demand for the pickups and commercial vans.

The plant is also responsible for the assembly of the Chevy Express and the GMC Savana cargo vans. Meanwhile, production of the pickups started during the summer of 2014. In November, a memo was circulated to factory workers that GM is considering to partner with AM General, an Indiana-based contract manufacturer, to help speed up the van production.

However, both the companies refused to comment on the matter. The shortage has somehow eased over the past few months. As of February 1, dealers had a 58-day supply of Chevrolet Colorados, down from 20 days on June 1, and a 90-day supply of GMC Canyons. However, the supply is still relatively tight since there are many cab types and bed sizes.

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