In order to meet “strong consumer demand,” GM will invest $150 million in the Flint Assembly Plant to increase production by 40,000 annual units of the 2020 Chevy Silverado HD and 2020 GMC Sierra HD. This is the second plant investment GM has announced in just a few weeks.
These investments, Flint Assembly and $24M for Fort Wayne Assembly, are aimed squarely at meeting increasing consumer demand for trucks as well as ward off new competitors like Ram who seeks to claim more market share with its new lineup of pickups.
The 2020 Chevy Silverado HD and 2020 GMC Sierra HD have been criticized by members of the press for their styling, but it sounds like dealers as unfazed and early orders are pushing GM to make this investment.
Here is the official press release:
FLINT, Mich. — General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) today announced the second major expansion of its full-size pickup production capacity this year: a $150 million investment at Flint Assembly to increase production of the all-new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra heavy-duty pickups, which begin shipping to dealers this week.
This news follows GM’s announcement last month to expand light-duty, full-size pickup production capacity in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in response to strong customer demand.
GM has invested more than $1.6 billion in the Flint Assembly since 2013, enabling an increase in the truck plant’s production capacity of the all-new Chevrolet and GMC HD pickups by about 40,000 vehicles annually, including more crew cab models and diesels.
Additionally, 1,000 new jobs were created this year, bringing employment at the plant to more than 5,000. The new investment will enhance the plant’s conveyors and other tooling to increase production capacity. The work will be completed in the first half of 2020.
“We have tremendous opportunities to grow our heavy-duty pickup business, because we’ve invested in capability, performance, innovation and capacity,” said Mark Reuss, GM president. “Our all-new Chevrolet and GMC HD pickups are the toughest, strongest, most capable heavy-duty pickups we’ve ever brought to market, and our Flint team is up to the challenge to build world-class quality products to drive the growth.”
GM’s full-size truck product offensive began last year with the launch of the all-new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 light-duty crew cabs built at the Fort Wayne truck plant. Double cab and regular cab models are now available as well. Combined sales of the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab pickups, the highest volume model in the fiercely competitive full-size pickup segment, were up 20 percent in the first quarter of 2019 versus a year ago. GM is projecting another significant increase for the second quarter.
Dealers will build their inventories of the new heavy-duty pickups through the remainder of 2019.
The Flint and Fort Wayne investments are the most recent GM has made to strengthen its growing truck, SUV and crossover business. Other investments include those previously announced in Dayton, Ohio; Parma, Ohio; Romulus, Michigan; Toledo, Ohio; Spring Hill, Tennessee; and Lansing, Michigan.
Since 2009, GM has invested more than $23 billion in its U.S. manufacturing base – more than one-quarter of every dollar spent by any automaker.
Opened in 1947, Flint Assembly currently operates three production shifts.