GM to invest $328 million to produce the next generation of full-size pickup trucks

Article by Christian Andrei, on July 18, 2011

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.

Press Release

GM Invests $328 Million in Flint Assembly Plant

General Motors will invest $328 million to prepare its plant in Flint, Mich. to build the next generation of Chevrolet and GMC full-size pickup trucks, creating or retaining 150 jobs.

The plant, which currently has 2,047 employees, builds the hot-selling heavy-duty versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. Sales of the new-for-2011 trucks have led to an additional 2.4 percentage points of market share (through May), bringing GM’s total HD share to 36 percent.

“This investment will allow us to continue building award-winning full-size pickups that offer better fuel efficiency than ever before without sacrificing features and functionality,” said Cathy Clegg, GM vice president of Labor Relations. “We remain committed to providing customers the utility and capability of our world-class full-size pickups.”

GM’s retail share of the full-size pickup market has grown to 40.4 percent through May compared with 37.7 percent in the first five months of 2010.

“Truck sales play an important role in the success of General Motors,” said Joe Ashton, UAW-GM Vice President. “We are confident that the next-generation of trucks will continue to be an important source of revenue for the company and jobs for our members. Our members are ready to use their abundant talents to build high-quality trucks that deliver exceptional value to our customers.”

The investment announced Monday is part of $2 billion GM is spending that will create or retain about 4,000 jobs in 17 facilities in eight states over the next 18 months.

Michigan has been a major beneficiary in the current round of investments, designated for $744 million. The Flint Engine, Bay City Powertrain, Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, Lansing Grand River Assembly, Saginaw Powertrain and GM Components Holdings in Wyoming, Mich., all were designated for manufacturing investment along with a $130 million Data Center on its Warren, Mich. Technical Center campus.

Topics: gm, investment

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