General Motors plans to continue building the previous-generation Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra through the end of 2019, according to newly minted CFO Dhivya Suryadevara.
Suryadevara said during GM’s third-quarter earnings that the trucks will phase out of production in the “early second half of next year,” according to Automotive News (subscription required). A GM spokesperson added the program is expected to run into “late 2019 based on market demand.”
GM navigated the ramp-up of 2019 Chevy Silverado and 2019 GMC Sierra production (T1-generation trucks) by building previous-generation (K2) pickups. Nicknamed the “Oshawa Shuttle,” GM shipped unfinished trucks from the Fort Wayne, Indiana, assembly plant to the Oshawa, Ontario, assembly plant. There, the trucks received paint and final assembly.
Truck production helped save the plant from potential repercussions as the plant remains underutilized. The spokesperson said the program has been a major success and Oshawa has built 60,000 more trucks than previously forecasted.
What will become of the hourly workers assembling pickup trucks is unclear, however. Aside from truck production, Oshawa only builds the Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac XTS. The XTS will soon depart the marketplace as the brand gears up to introduce two new sedans and the Impala has reportedly been on the internal chopping block for months. Oshawa previously built the Chevrolet Equinox and Camaro. The pony car production moved south to Michigan, while the Equinox is now assembled in Mexico.
Reception of the 2019 Silverado and Sierra has been exceptional, Suryadevara said. In the third quarter, GM delivered 45,000 T1 pickups and the automaker estimated it will deliver 120,000 before year’s end. That’s 10,000 fewer units than former CFO Chuck Stevens forecasted. Sales of the Silverado increased 1.4 percent through the third quarter. Sierra sales dipped 1.4 percent through September.