New Silverado Is Nigh: GM Schedules Retooling Of Full-Size Truck Plants

As a new full-size General Motors truck platform draws nearer, the automaker is finalizing plans to retool the three assembly plants that will build them. GM will spend close to $928 million to retool three factories in Indiana, Michigan, and Texas, and will do so over a period of 21 weeks.

According to the Detroit Free Press that starting in January, the plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana, responsible for building the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, will shut down for nine weeks sometime between January and October. The factory in Flint, Michigan, will close for retooling for seven weeks, likely between June and November of 2012. The Arlington, Texas, plant that currently builds full-size SUVs like the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, the GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade, will halt production for five weeks between June and December.

The launch of the new trucks will allegedly create about 100 new jobs at each of the three plants. Of the $928 million investment, $275 million is allocated to the Fort Wayne plant, $328 million to the Flint plant, and $331 to the Arlington facility. Should the retooling process be completed in 2012, production should begin in 2013 on the all-new 2014 models. We wouldn't be surprised if the launch of the pickups is scheduled before that of their SUV cousins.

The current-generation GMT900 platform debuted in late 2006 for the 2007 model year, launching initially in SUV form. The HD models received a major under-the-skin refresh for the 2011 model year, but the half-ton pickups -- along with their SUV companions --  have only seen minor trim and powertrain changes since their introduction, the most noteworthy being the addition of six-speed automatic transmissions in 2009. The next-generation truck line is expected to receive the fifth-generation small block V-8 with direct fuel injection.

Source: The Detroit Free Press

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