GM Announces Production Shifts, Adds Capacity for Full-Size Pickups

GM hasn’t yet increased production to respond to dealers’ wishes, but it did announce it would add a third shift at three assembly plants in order to streamline its manufacturing operations.

GM’s Fairfax, Kansas, facility gains a third shift, as the factory will become the sole provider of the Chevrolet Malibu come November. GM will end production of the Malibu at its Orion, Michigan, facility, and retool the plant to produce a range of small cars for the U.S.

GM’s Ft. Wayne, Indiana, facility presently only produces light-duty full-size pickups, but come April of 2010, a third shift will assemble heavy-duty variants of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra models. Currently, production of these models is split between two plants in Michigan, and one is scheduled to close by the end of this month.

The least surprising announcement relates to GM’s factory in Lansing, Michigan. Home to the GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook, and Buick Enclave, the factory will also be responsible for manufacturing the similar Chevrolet Traverse, which was previously built in Spring Hill, Tennessee. Traverse production in Spring Hill will cease in November, although the plant will remain on standby through April 2010.

GM also announced today that it would invest nearly $21 million in its Flint, Michigan, assembly plant to produce light-duty crew cab versions of the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. The plant, which also builds heavy-duty full-size pickups, has extra capacity since production of medium-duty commercial vehicles ended in July.

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