GM Authority received word that both the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon had entered production following a two-month plant shutdown brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. For now, only short-wheelbase models are being built, with the Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon XL set to enter production at a later date. The 2021 Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV have also yet to enter production and will begin rolling off the assembly line in Arlington later this summer.
GM began retooling the Arlington Assembly plant to produce the next-generation of its full-size SUV lineup in early May after production of the previous-generation Tahoe, Suburban, Yukon and Escalade had concluded. While many automotive plants in the United States closed their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 23rd, Arlington remained open to complete production of the outgoing line of SUVs. GM is eager to ensure the full-size SUVs launch on-time, as the vehicles are some of its most popular and profit-heavy products.
UAW Local 276 Shop Chairman Kenny Hines raised the alarm bells over GM’s return to work at Arlington Assembly earlier this month after an employee there tested positive for COVID-19. Hines said previously that he would like to see GM idle the plant and wait for the amount of COVID-19 cases in the Dallas area to taper off, but GM decided to keep the plant open. There have not been any other reported cases of COVID-19 at Arlington Assembly since that employee tested positive the week of June 5th.
The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon should begin to arrive at GM dealerships shortly, followed by the Suburban, Yukon XL, Escalade and Escalade ESV sometime after. Customers interested in the newly offered Duramax turbo-diesel 3.0L LM2 I-6 engine will also have to wait a while more.
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