GM planning to produce next-generation mid-sized pickup in Missouri

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 22, 2011

Under General Motors’ tentative pact with the UAW, the automaker is planning to produce its next-generation mid-sized pickup in Missouri and to reopen its former Saturn assembly plant in Tennessee where two new mid-sized vehicles will be built.

GM has not announced if it plans on producing the next version of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon (its small pickups) in the U.S. Last March, GM introduced a Colorado concept in Thailand.

GM categorized this as a mid-sized pickup but it didn’t say if this vehicle would be sold or built in the U.S. The summary of the labor pact also revealed a $380 million investment for the production of a mid-sized pickup at GM's Wentzville, Mo., plant.

The union said that under the new deal, GM has given its approval to keep or create 6,400 jobs as part of $2.5 billion in planned product and plant investments. The union said that aside from the new pickups, the Missouri plant will continue with the production of full-sized vans for Chevrolet and GMC.

The pact indicated that GM's assembly plant in Shreveport, La., which produces the Colorado and Canyon, is still set to shut down by 2012. Meanwhile, an assembly plant located in Janesville, Wis., will continue to be on standby. The details of the UAW deal are expected to be released next week. The segment on smaller pickups is expected to not be as competitive as the others.

General Motors’ $2 billion product development gave birth to the most premium mid-size pickup truck in five years. The worldwide project is said to promote the Chevrolet range in 60 different countries. As a result, there’s a new Chevrolet Colorado that is built even for the toughest roads in Thailand.

Martin Apfel (President of GM Thailand) knows the significance of the new Colorado to Thai consumers. He described the anticipation of most people (in Thailand) particularly for a medium sized pickup that is built not just to impress but also to perform on any road condition. Thanks to the two choices of Duramax turbo-diesel engines.

Apfel also mentioned how the vehicle programme will showcase the impressive skills of their people. The new Colorado is in fact, the greatest example of their craftsmanship. Nevertheless, he’s so proud of the team’s capability and believes that they can cater not just to the local market but also everywhere else in the world.

Just as with any vehicle, only time can tell if the new pickup will be highly resistant to daily abuse. But so far, we know how Chevrolet Colorado can last up to so many years. GM’s 100-year history in car manufacturing doesn’t need anything to prove this.

The Thai engineers modified the new Chevrolet’s ride heights, cabins and powertrains. They even came up with different body options ranging from single, extended and crew cab.

Customers can also choose between two-wheel and four-wheel driving configurations. Meanwhile, the high or low stance can go with the pickup’s wide body while others may opt for the narrow-bodied variant. Truly, the new generation model provides better value, innovation and features like we’ve never seen before.

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