By on September 17, 2014

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GM’s new mid-size pickup trucks aren’t even on sale yet, but the auto maker is already preparing to add a third shift at its Wentzville, Missouri assembly plant, which will result in 750 additional jobs.

The third shift will come online in early 2015. GM claims to have received as many as 30,000 dealer orders for the mid-sizers so far – whether they end up in customer hands without major incentives or discounts is a whole other matter.

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33 Comments on “GM Already Adding Third Shift At Mid-Size Truck Plant...”


  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    Will the plant still make the full size vans? The third shift is not surprising, and it is a good utilization of facilities if the answer is ‘yes.’

    I hope these trucks are successful, but me thinks they are too pricey, and compete too much with the full size trucks (new or off-lease).

    Mark Reuss himself said they are 95% the capability of a full size. That was the first warning sign to me that GM again misjudged the market.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    This strikes me as optimism bordering on insanity. I checked Tacoma pricing… they start at $18.2K or so and, if I recall correctly, the GM products will start at $21-22K.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Most likely, there will be heavy incentives on the hood, as there always have been.

      But Tacoma is reportedly working on an upgrade and revamp that will be released exactly one year after the release of the GM mid-sizers.

    • 0 avatar
      STRATOS

      I agree ,they are over optomistic .Its an expensive way to get good press

    • 0 avatar
      eggsalad

      The $18.2k Taco is a regular cab, a model which is dead after 2014. The base cab-and-a-half Tacoma is right around $21k, just like the Nissan and Chevy/GMC.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        Then that’s a better comparison. Now I find myself wondering what fraction of Tacoma sales are regular cab. GM won’t get any of that.

        But then, I overlooked, Toyota’s killing that type.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          I assume that Reg cab Taco’s are around 5% if one looks at the cars.com search engine and assuming that all of fleet sales listed by Toyota for the Tacoma are reg cab.
          Not vey scientific but gives a ballpark figure.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Meaningless numbers. Fleet sales are never counted as “inventory” or sitting on the lot/showroom.

            Those tend to be regular cabs, mostly.

            And Toyota is very astute at fudging their “Fleet” totals. Companies buying several fleet “stripper” Toyotas (at a single transaction) may not qualify as “fleet” customers, but they still get significant discounts. The sales get recorded as “retail” though. Enter “Fleetail”.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Polk calculates fleet data based largely upon public registrations data. If the buyer is a commercial buyer, then it will be booked as fleet.

            Last year, Tacoma fleet sales totaled over 13,000 units, resulting in fleet sales of about 8%. Much of that fleet went to commercial.

            Most of the sales are retail. Unlike the other marques, Toyota has done well with keeping fairly stable sales numbers over the last two decades. This “fleetail” that you always bring up is not much of a factor, and Polk is already accounting for it in its stats.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Lou_BC – Pch does bring up a good point. But you’re only talking fleets. You conveniently forgot all the cheapskates and bottom feeder aspects. They’re all looking for the lowest common denominator of pickups. The Tacoma is it right now. And it’s the cheapest thing on wheels, except for subcompacts.

            And the fleet totals for ’14 aren’t in yet. Orkin alone will buy more than 1% of Tacomas built this (model) year.

            And that’s just one company in one industry, all converging on the only regular cab midsize in existence.

            With no regular cabs, plus new competition, the Tacoma will be lucky to sell 100K trucks next year.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Denver – every time I look at statistics on reg cab Tacoma’s in the USA they are in that 5% range.

            Make all the sh!t up you want but that is the ballpark number.

            Post some proof that says contrary if you want to disagree.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Lou, your position completely sidesteps commonsense. Even 8% doesn’t account for retail customer regular cabs. Nor that in previous years, regular cab midsizers were common to Ford lots and GM lots, including Fleet/commercial only stores. Where do you think those fleet, cheapskates and bottom feeders went?

            The cry for “proof” is debate tactic and stall tactic when you’ve failed to even convince yourself. And it never minds the obvious.

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            DenverMike: “And Toyota is very astute at fudging their “Fleet” totals. Companies buying several fleet “stripper” Toyotas (at a single transaction) may not qualify as “fleet” customers, but they still get significant discounts.”

            Oh, absolutely. Discounting all the margin away through “fleetail” sales is how Toyota came to be the most profitable automaker there is.

            GM, on the other hand, is very likely to make the big money on this truck with a solid MSRP backed by enormous piles of cash on the hood.

    • 0 avatar
      See 7 up

      I know everyone buys a truck to be trucky, amenities aren’t needed for real men…
      but honestly, I looked into a Tacoma and I just can’t pay what they are asking for a vehicle literally 10 years old (and given its a Toyota, the interior looks about 15 years old, albeit with a new headset).

      I’ll gladly pay and extra couple grand for a new vehicle. As for reliability. Please. People pay way too much for Toyota “reliability”. Its overhyped and a throwback from the late 80’s early 90’s when US cars were shite.

      • 0 avatar
        Clueless Economist

        See 7 up nailed it. Toyota’s interiors do always seem older than they actually are and people do overpay for Toyota’s perceived quality premium. Anyone who buys a one or two year old Toyota or Honda really should have just bought a new one because the savings are very small.

        • 0 avatar
          Bill Wade

          See any irony in your post? If they overpaid then why do used ones have such high resale?

          • 0 avatar
            See 7 up

            I’d argue people overpay on used Toyotas. With respect to resale alone, and seeing a car as a tool only, (most) new Toyota buyers also don’t overpay.

            I say most, because some Toyota products are nice. Heck the Taco is nice. It’s just really dated, and not in a good way.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I believe you overlooked the point that the Colorado/Canyon START with the extended cab rather than the standard cab and the lowest-priced Tacoma with the extended cab runs at just about the same price.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    The plant isn’t dedicated to these trucks, it also runs 2 shifts building full size vans. So an extra shift to meet whatever production quota these two trucks have really isn’t necessarily an indicator of optimism considering the vehicles the plant already builds amounts to 100K+ units of production.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Express and Savana sales are up YTD. This could be a response to that.

      That being said, GM has sunk a lot of money into this truck. They claimed to Automotive News that it was a play for incremental sales, but I suspect there are higher expectations than that, with egos and possibly career paths on the line if things don’t go swimmingly.

      Good luck to them, they’re gonna need it.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Pch101
        GM hasn’t sunk much money into this truck at all. Can you provide link that is independent of GM to support your comment?

        Ford, VW and Toyota have sunk more money into their respective global midsizers.

        GM only spent $2.5 billion on this. Ford on the other hand has spent $3.5 billion on the Ranger and VW spent $3 billion on the Amarok.

        This means that Ford has invested an incredible 67% more into the Ranger!

        Not much money by GM in comparison.

      • 0 avatar
        ect

        Much as it pains me to say so, Big Al is probably right about this – at least with respect to the North American market. IIRC (and I could be wrong), GM first developed this truck for sale in non-North American markets, so the cost of later adapting it for sale in the US/Canada would not have been that great.

        The real question is, will it sell? Which we can’t know. GM obviously thinks it will sell enough to justify the marginal cost of investing in NA production and sales. A number of people on this site think otherwise. Time will tell

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    The launch of these trucks should have included the diesel. GM should have pulled out the stops and made that happen. They just aren’t gonna make the splash when they enter the market that they could/should have.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      I tend to agree; it would help differentiate the product and provide a point of interest for the auto press.

      However, maybe the latter will be just as valuable six months to a year from now, especially if sales have fallen off a bit and GM wants new life in the marketing plan.

  • avatar
    jdash1972

    This truck is a brilliant idea. It could capture buyers looking for something more economical – and it’s only the perception of improved economy that really matters and gets someone to open their wallets. Trucks are a lot bigger than they used to be and not everyone wants or needs something that’s a pain in the *ss to park. As long as the key stays in the ignition it will be a winner. More shopping choices instead of an over boosted aluminum Ford.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Say what you will…but when the diesel 6MT is available, I’m in. Based on the long term review real world MPG of ‘Albert’ I am in. I just don’t want another full size truck. Even if this one is 7/8s size I will take it.

    I am going with the assumption the 6MT diesel will return similar or better mileage.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      For me the diesel only makes sense if your towing and manuals suck compared to a nice automatic for that. I make that observation after towing with a manual transmission Toyota truck for 11 years.

  • avatar
    mikehgl

    If GM ever releases the mpg figures for the 4 banger,I will be able to decide which power plant I will check the box for.
    I have a hunch that this platform is gonna sell better than some expect. It seems that the General got the timing right on this models entry into the U.S. market, either by dumb luck, good fortune or precise market trend forecasting.
    Whatever, sign me up.

  • avatar
    JEFFSHADOW

    Interesting that they offer the extended cab on the 7/8 scaler but not on the original full-size trucks after MY 2013. So the press information that stated the NHTSA didn’t like the “safety” measures on the cab-and-a-halfer was erroneous.
    If the new GMC Colorado is large enough with the extended cab, I’m in for an order. Along with the Buick Cascada!

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “Interesting that they offer the extended cab on the 7/8 scaler but not on the original full-size trucks after MY 2013.”

      If I remember correctly, they DO offer an extended cab on the full-sized truck, it just LOOKS like a crew cab because they had to add a vertical brace in the middle of the opening to pass the ‘roof crush’ safety test and that was the easiest way to do it and called it a “double cab”. The slightly smaller Colorado kept the suicide doors.

  • avatar
    sketch447

    So GM is adding a 3d shift to a factory that makes a mid-size truck that people may or may not want, whose predecessor sold fewer units than lime-green Aztecs. This mid-sized truck gets virtually the same mpg as a full-size truck, with a minimal price advantage and far less utility.

    If GM still had the Jobs Bank (where idled workers got sent to do crossword puzzles while still getting paid), those 750 workers would have something to do. As it is, they’ll be playing Nerf football on the idled factory floor…..

    What is GM smoking? I want some!!

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