General Motors has confirmed it will invest $150 million USD into its Flint Assembly plant in Michigan to support increased production of the GMC Sierra HD and Chevrolet Silverado HD pickup trucks, which are all-new for the 2020 model year.
GM president Mark Reuss appeared at the plant to announce the new investment. The automaker will not be adding any additional jobs to the plant with the investment, although it previously said it would add 1,000 positions at the plant in February of this year.
“We have tremendous opportunities to grow our heavy-duty pickup business, because we’ve invested in capability, performance, innovation and capacity,” Reuss said in a prepared statement. “Our Flint team is up to the challenge to build world-class quality products to drive the growth.”
The investment will go toward installing new conveyors in the factory as well as other retooling. The upgrades are expected to be complete by the summer of 2020.
Investments in a plant give peace of mind to its workers, since it indicates that the facility will remain a big part of GM’s business going forward. GM recently closed several of its North American plants as part of its ongoing restructuring, aiming to reduce costs and trim the fat from its business in anticipation of a downturn in auto sales.
The UAW, which has been critical of GM for closing U.S. plants while still shipping in product from Mexico, was happy to see the automaker make a commitment to Flint.
“Under the direction of Director Gerald Kariem of UAW Region 1D, Flint GM workers in the past year have secured 1,000 additional jobs which reflect the hard work of UAW members as they build heavy duty Chevy and GMC pickup trucks,” UAW vice president Terry Dittes said.
Flint Assembly is GM’s largest plant, with 3,500 hourly and salaried employees and an output of around 250,000 trucks per year. It builds the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra in both light-duty (1500) and heavy duty (2500HD and 3500HD) guises. GM completely overhauled the pickup trucks, redesigning the Silverado and Sierra 1500 for the 2019 model year and then doing the same with the Silverado and Sierra HD for the 2020 model year.