General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) today announced a second major expansion of its full-size pickup production capacity this year: a $150 million investment at Flint Assembly to increase output of the new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra heavy-duty pickups, which begin shipping to dealers this week. Opened in 1947, Flint Assembly currently operates three production shifts.
This news follows GM’s announcement last month to expand light-duty, full-size pickup production capacity in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in response to strong customer demand. (GM to Invest $1.2 Billion in Fort Wayne Pickup Plant)
Trucks are among GM’s most profitable vehicles. Less expensive fuel prices, low interest rates, and a modest recovery in the U.S. economy have caused a resurgence in truck sales among the Detroit Three after they plummeted in 2008 as the Great Recession took hold.
GM has invested more than $1.6 billion in the Flint Assembly since 2013, increasing the truck plant’s production capacity of the all-new Chevrolet and GMC HD pickups by about 40,000 vehicles annually, including more crew cab models and diesels.
Additionally, 1,000 new jobs were created this year, bringing employment at the plant to more than 5,000. The new investment will enhance the plant’s conveyors and other tooling to increase production capacity. The work will be completed in the first half of 2020.
Mark Reuss, GM president said, “Our all-new Chevrolet and GMC HD pickups are the toughest, strongest, most capable heavy-duty pickups we’ve ever brought to market, and our Flint team is up to the challenge to build world-class quality products GM’s full-size truck product offensive began last year.”
Combined sales of the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab pickups, the highest volume model in the fiercely competitive full-size pickup segment, were up 20% in the first quarter of 2019 versus a year ago. GM is projecting another significant increase for Q2.
The Flint and Fort Wayne investments are the most recent GM has made to strengthen its growing truck, SUV and crossover business. Other investments include those previously announced in Dayton, Ohio; Parma, Ohio; Romulus, Michigan; Toledo, Ohio; Spring Hill, Tennessee; and Lansing, Michigan.
Since 2009, GM has invested more than $23 billion in its U.S. manufacturing base – claiming that’s more than one-quarter of every dollar spent by any automaker.