According to sources familiar with the situation, the Arlington Assembly plant in Texas is operating at a reduced speed for the time being. As we reported this past week, General Motors is currently only producing the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon at Arlington for the time being, with production of the new Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon XL, Cadillac Escalade and Cadillac Escalade ESV set to begin later this summer.
It’s normal for an assembly line to run at partial capacity while still in the early stages of building an all-new, next-generation vehicle. However, it’s very likely the COVID-19 pandemic is also contributing to the low output at Arlington Assembly right now. While the plant is still operating on three shifts, COVID-19 protocols may be slowing down output as workers take precautions like social distancing throughout their day. Additionally, many GM suppliers are also trying to ramp up production at the moment and may not be delivering parts to Arlington Assembly at the same rate they would be otherwise.
A worker at Arlington Assembly tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, prompting UAW Local 276 Shop Chairman Kenny Hines to raise the alarm bells over worker safety at the plant. While Hines pushed GM to idle the plant and allow the number of COVID-19 cases in the Dallas area to go down, GM has elected to keep the plant open in order to meet the expected high demand for the new line of full-size SUVs. It’s worth noting there have not been any other reported cases of COVID-19 at Arlington Assembly since that employee tested positive the week of June 5th.
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