The full-size truck market is showing no signs of slowing down and General Motors is investing in production facilities because of it.
For the second time in 2019, GM has announced plant expansion at one of its pickup plant — Flint, Michigan, following an earlier announced expansion at Fort Wayne, Indiana. The latter signaled an expansion of light-duty full-sized pickups, whereas the new $150 million US investment earmarks expansion for heavy-duty Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra volume, including more 4-door crew-cab models and more diesel powertrains. The money will go into enhancing conveyors and other tooling, and is expected to take a year to complete.
“We have tremendous opportunities to grow our heavy-duty pickup business, because we’ve invested in capability, performance, innovation and capacity,” said Mark Reuss, GM president. “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 to drive the growth.”
This brings the total investment at the Flint plant to over $1.6 billion since 2013, resulting in a production volume increase of 40,000 trucks annually, and adding 1,000 new jobs (a 25% increase) this year alone.
The new Silverado/Sierra light duty pickups were introduced last year, sourced out of Fort Wayne, and sales are currently up 20% from last year’s first quarter totals. The company is now ramping up production of the new 2020 heavy-duty versions, with deliveries to dealers continuing through the end of 2019.