General Motors has announced a $328 million investment into its Flint, Michgan plant, which will produce the upcoming next-generation GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks. Over the next 18 months, GM plans to spend $2 billion at 17 of its plants to improve facilities and help create jobs.
GM says the money spent on the Flint plant should help retain or add about 150 positions on top of the 2,047 employees currently employed at that location.
“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.”
Details on the actually trucks are still slim at this point, but we expect GM to concentrate of fuel efficiency in order to meet the upcoming Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard for 2016. CEO Dan Akerson has also voiced his concern about the future of full-sized trucks and questioned its viability in a time when fuel prices continue to fluctuate. His statements mirror the current downward sales trend of Chevy Silverados and GMC Sierras, while the company’s small cars such as the Chevy Cruze are flying off dealership lots.
GM also produces full-sized trucks at its Fort Wayne (Roanoke, Indiana), Arlington, Texas, and Silao, Mexico facilities, though no announcement about future investment into those plants was made at this time. However, our on-scene sources indicate that the 2014 half-ton models will also be produced in Flint, which currently builds three-quarter and 1-ton models only, indicating the possibility that production could be consolidated among fewer plants.