General Motors Co. is prepared to invest $328 million to produce the next generation of full-size pickup trucks at its assembly plant in Flint, Mich. GM said in a statement that this will create or keep 150 jobs at the plant, which opened in 1947 and has about 2,050 employees. The next version of GM’s Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups is expected to arrive in early 2013.
This investment is included in a plan revealed by GM last May on the investment of $2 billion in 17 U.S. plants. Analysts have criticized GM for exceeding the preferred U.S. full-size pickup truck inventory at the end of June of 122 days.
This is 50% higher than the 80 days that’s desired. On the other hand, the industry’s inventory averaged 99 days. GM estimates that by the end of the year, it will cut its big pickup inventory to a range of 100 to 110 days.
Through June, U.S. sales of the Silverado went up by 3% while the Sierra grew by 1%. In the U.S. market, the Silverado is the No. 2 selling vehicle. Ford Motor Co.'s F-150 pickup had the top spot.
Last month, GM said that it will shut down the Flint plant for two weeks in July to for some maintenance work and to be ready for a revision to the production of the 2012 model-year vehicles.
GM announced plans in January to put in a third shift composed of 750 workers at the Flint plant in the third quarter to produce heavy-duty versions of the big pickups.