About $275 million will be invested by General Motors to its plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to prepare it to produce the next generation of Chevrolet and GMC full-size pickup trucks. This move will create or keep 150 jobs. The Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickups are being built at this plant, which presently has 3,400 people working on three shifts.
This investment is included in the $2 billion plan that GM revealed in May 2011 that will result to the creation or the preservation of around 4,000 jobs in 17 facilities in eight states within the next 18 months.
Larry Zahner, GM manufacturing manager, said that this investment will make it possible to continue to produce high-quality pickups that have improved fuel efficiency but keeps its features and functionality intact. He added that GM stays committed to giving consumers the same “utility and capability” of its world-class full-size pickups.
GM’s full-size pickup trucks did very well in September. GMC Sierra sales had grown by 26% while Chevrolet Silverado sales increased by 36%. Since July, sales of GM full-size pickups have been increasing each month, helping the company achieve a year-to-date market share gain of about one full point.
“Today’s announcement is great news for the hard-working members of UAW Local 2209,” said Joe Ashton, UAW vice president, representing the GM Department. “Our members’ experience and knowledge will ensure that this next generation of trucks will exceed the expectations of our customers. This is an important vehicle program for GM and the decision to locate the work in Fort Wayne demonstrates our mutual commitment to making GM a great American company.”
For 2012, the new Chevrolet Silverado plans to remain on top of its segment in terms of capability and diversity with further improvements in styling, connectivity and passenger comfort. In fact, the new Silverado is provided with new front-end designs and a new navigation radio for better connectivity. Styling updates for the 2012 Silverado include a chrome mesh grille that comes with a chrome surround on LS and LT models, or a body-colored surround on LTZ.
In addition, LS and LT models of the Silverado are provided with silver-painted lower bumper fascia, which helps with the vehicle’s aerodynamics especially on 2WD models without tow hooks. Completing the exterior enhancements is a new 20-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheel. For 2012 the Silverado is offered with four new exterior colors added to the usual palette -- Carbon Flash Metallic, Graystone, Mocha Steel Metallic and Silver Ice Metallic.
Chevrolet also added two new interior color combinations -- Dark Titanium/Light Titanium and Dark Cashmere/Light Cashmere. An updated screen and integrated hard drive are offered, as well as segment-exclusive OnStar and SiriusXM satellite radio. Bluetooth, USB connectivity and a dealer-installed Wi-Fi system are now offered with 2012 Silverado.
All Chevrolet Silverado 1500s – aside from Hybrid models – come with the StabiliTrak electronic stability control system that integrates Trailer Sway Control and Hill Start Assist. All Chevy Silverado 1500 models also come with Cruise control and a spare tire lock, as standard. Chevrolet is also making available heated/cooled seats on LTZ models as well as a special White Diamond Edition of the Silverado, which is available in LT or LTZ trim.
LT models of this special edition features a distinct White Diamond Tricoat exterior color, door handles and chrome mirror caps, as well as body side moldings with chrome accents. LTZ models, meanwhile, add 20-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels wrapped in touring tires, a chrome tow hook, an exhaust tip package and the Z60 high-performance suspension package.
Maria Rohrer, Chevrolet Truck marketing director, remarked that the Silverado – with its dependable V-8 performance and very competitive fuel economy, as well as broad range of models – remains as appealing to truck customers, with sales surging seven percent in the first seven months of the year.
He added that improvements on the 2012 Silverado should further enhance the ever-capable Silverado with an updated design and available navigation radio and Wi-Fi systems.