When GM announced plans to bring all-new midsize pickups to market, many analysts wondered why the automaker would invest in a shrinking segment. Indeed, annual midsize truck sales have shrunk to volumes that make profits hard to come by. But GM stuck with its three-truck strategy for both Chevy and GMC, and early signs show that the decision seems to be paying off. That’s because, in response to really high, early demand for its 2015 Colorado and 2015 Canyon, GM will add a third shift at its Wentzville Assembly plant to throttle production of the new midsize pickup trucks. This early production increase is either a gamble by The General on behalf of its dealers, or a greater sign of things to come. Either way, it is a good thing for GM.
The additional shift at Wentzville will bring 750 jobs to the area and caps a total investment of $513 million from GM, which was spent on launching production of both trucks as well as adding a third stamping plant.
While GM plans on bringing the third shift on in early 2015, the trucks should arrive at dealer lots before then. Early dealer orders of nearly 30,000 2015 Chevy Colorado pickups are expected to begin production at the end of September. But it is important to note that dealer orders are still not direct customer sales. However, it’s likely that customers have already been calling dealers for availability, and dealers have ordered according to customer demand.