By on May 26, 2016

2015 Chevrolet Silverado Rally Edition

It looks like Mexico couldn’t handle the demand.

After sending some of the production of its light-duty trucks south of the border in 2013, General Motors will soon begin assembly of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew cab in Flint, Michigan, according to MLive.

Crew cab production at GM’s oldest plant starts in 2017, with existing workers able to pick up lucrative Saturday shifts. Temporary workers will be brought on to bolster existing employees.

Why the move back home? It came down to buyers wanting an American-built truck, said UAW Local 598 Shop Chairman Eric Welter, and because GM’s Silao, Mexico plant couldn’t crank them out fast enough.

“This was just a need to satisfy their customers,” he told MLive. “We’re having a hard time getting the four-door.”

Flint Assembly already produces heavy-duty versions of the Silverado and GMC Sierra, but a 2009 investment gave the plant the capability of producing a light-duty truck. In total, the plant has seen about $1.5 billion in upgrades over the past three years, including a new body and paint shop — part of GM’s $5.4 billion country-wide investment plan.

GM’s Fort Wayne assembly plant in Indiana handles the remaining light-duty production.

Since the depths of the recession in 2009, Silverado sales have nearly doubled. Sales of all variants passed the 600,000 mark in the U.S. last year.

[Image: General Motors]

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33 Comments on “Coming Home: Silverado 1500 Crew Cab Production Heads to Flint...”

  • avatar

    Maybe, or maybe a bone to UAW since something this high margin can better absorb additional union costs vs something lower margin/lower volume?

  • avatar

    Made in ‘Murica again! It’s all about supply and command.

  • avatar

    Red grille
    Black bumper insert
    Chrome eyeglasses
    Matte grey hood
    Black running boards
    Black wheels

    A complete mess.

    • 0 avatar

      Pretty bizarre combo, really. If I didn’t know this was a factory edition, I’d think it was either customized by someone online who pushed a bunch of random buttons, or just came back from a visit to Pep Boys.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      Pretty bad to think it comes for the factory like that.

      • 0 avatar

        The other thing they come with from the factory is AFM and consequently AFM lifters. I am becoming very proficient at replacing them, not an inexpensive job.

        I agree, this scheme is a mess but the truck is gorgeous IMHO.

        Make America Great Again!!!

  • avatar

    Damn Trump & BTYS!

  • avatar

    I doubt that a majority of buyers bother to research (or care) where the truck is assembled, so the statement that they want “American-made” trucks is a farce. More to the point is the second reason…that the Mexican plant can’t build enough of them. Glad to see at least a little production/manufacturing coming back to the U.S., whatever the reason, but this is pebbles in a pond. Just look at how “foreign” Buick is becoming.

    • 0 avatar

      The number of people who acutally care enough about “Made in the USA” for it to significantly alter their purchasing habits is probably on the same scale of pebbles in a pond.

      But as one of those people, yes we do exist. My rule of thumb is that I want the product I purchase to have a positive impact on GDP or GNP (forgetting for a moment that simply by purchasing it from a retailer located physically inside the US I’m impacting GDP). Essentially my scale of positive impact is:

      US company, US made = three stars (+GDP, +GNP)
      Foreign owned company, US made = two stars (+GDP, -GNP)
      US company, non-US made = one star (-GDP, +GNP)
      Foreign company, non-US made = zero stars (-GDP, -GNP)

      It gets tricky when we start talking about the location of the business itself, because for example my employer is ultimately incorporated in the Netherlands even though it is one of the “Big Three” Detroit automakers. So technically any purchase of an FCA vehicle for me is at best a two-star purchase.

      And of course this rules breaks down when I purchase a used vehicle, which is all I’ve ever owned. I purchased my current Mazda from the used lot of a Nissan dealer, which ultimately serves to line the pockets of a US-based dealer which uses those funds to purchase new Nissans from the OEM which is incorporated in Japan.

      Basixally you’re hosed, just buy what you want and let people like me with OCD and just enough education on economics sweat it out.

      • 0 avatar

        It’s pretty sad that I could purchase a new Jeep, that ‘Murica-est of brands, and that Jeep as a manufactured product would have no impact to the GNP or GDP of the USA. That said, it would have an impact on the financial outlook of my employer, which does plenty of manufacturing here in the USA which does have a huge net benefit to GDP.

        The point is that the big picture approach is needed.

      • 0 avatar

        I exist on that plane, as well. Both of my cars are US-made by US companies. All of the appliances in my home are US-made. The bigger pieces of furniture (couch, loveseat, bedroom furniture and mattresses) are all US-made and probably just over half of the clothes I wear are US-made. Electronics and smaller appliances/items get to be tricky and I cringe at every item that passes into my house with a “Made in China” label, though I know in some cases it is (at least currently) impossible to get away from that 100%. And my lineage makes this even harder as I’m 50% German, grew up in Germany and am a big BMW fan (well, at least up until the E36!), but I’m the product of a family that believes heavily in service to country, and one way to do that is to try as much as possible to keep dollars in our country. A tad old-fashioned, I know, but there it is.

        I’m sure GM will use this in the upcoming July 4th marketing season to promote how “American” they are and how things are moving back to the USA. But sadly, either way, the typical consumer won’t care.

      • 0 avatar

        Niche clothing USA manufacturers (cut and sew) and textile mills are increasing output. There are literally dozens of us! Dozens!

        I just want an American automatic watch that isn’t 10k. Check out Weiss watch if you’re as crazy as I am – they are working on an automatic movement.

        • 0 avatar

          I’ve been waiting on a Weiss as well. My daily beat around watch is a Bertucci A4T, final assembly in US but case from China and Swiss movement. Same as Shinola without the marketing budget.

          In regards to vehicles, the last car (and mower) I purchased was Honda, made in the US of non-uaw labor. For me, that was a decision point. Plus, my wife preferred the Accord over the Fusion Sport. I always prefer to buy American made, I’ve become less worried about the brand as in the end, I want the lowest operating cost possible.

          • 0 avatar

            I wear a few Elgin’s that I picked up and have had serviced. An automatic and a manual wind.

            I’m glad Weiss is getting picked up on everyone’s radar. RGM is just too pricey. I love their aviator throwback to the Elgin/Hamilton 37500 aircraft clock, but 8 grand is too steep.

            For a mower, I have a Snapper Hi-Vac made in McDonough, Georgia. Now that they’re Briggs, they supposedly do final assembly in various US plants. I’m going to refurbish mine when I get around to it.

          • 0 avatar

            I have a manual wind Elgin and a Movado, but I got sick of winding them everyday so they are seldom worn. DD is this Orient Mako auto, with a Seiko 5 and an Omega Cal 351 auto as occasional replacements.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s on the sticker?

      Edit: Further, it’s going to say the location of final assembly, so you would know without any research whatsoever that your new truck was built in “Flint, Michigan”.

      Edit 2: I typed “final assembly location on sticker” into Google and found first hit some guy angry he didn’t have his “Made in Louisville” sticker. Apparently not only does the truck buying subculture look at that spot on the big sticker, but they get angry if it’s not present in a separate permanent decal on the vehicle.

      • 0 avatar

        Check the VIN, yo. That will tell you which plant it came out of. Check page 6 on this link:

        When VIN position 1 is ‘3,’ it’s Hencho en Mexico. The 11th position will tell you which plant.

        GM: king of Mexican manufacturing.

        Edit: All Fords built in Louisville have a sticker stating such. It’s a UAW sponsored decal. It may have been removed by the dealer / previous owner.

  • avatar

    This move back home isn’t an anomaly. Wages in Mexico are climbing, on top of increased costs to transport, this current dip in oil prices notwithstanding. In some cases it really does just make more sense to build them here.

    As an adopted son of Flint, this makes me happy.

  • avatar

    Good news for a town that desperately needed some.

  • avatar

    Flint assembly paint shop: The official whistle blowers of the flint water scandal.

  • avatar

    Crew cabs. Regular cabs by both Dodge and GM are still made in Mexico, while the Ford regular cabs are made in the US.

  • avatar

    Flintown, Flintown, F-F-F-F-Flintown.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    It is nice to see the Silverado assembled in the US.

    But, I do suspect the UAW is really talking sh!t on this one. I would think the UAW cut a deal with GM over some other vehicle moving offshore or out of country for this to happen.

    This is part of some deal struck between GM and the UAW.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    The worst automotive trend ever – black rims! Yuck! And the truck in the photo isn’t a CC BTW

  • avatar

    Others in the Top 10:
    Assembly/Labor is a small part of total costs
    Mexico buys more Rams than GM pickups combined
    Mexico buys more regular and extended cabs when the do
    Trump will put the spotlight Mexico builds
    Fullsize pickups are very high margin
    Titans and Tundras are *proudly* USA Made

  • avatar

    Hey, wait a minute! That’s a Double Cab (extended cab) in the lead pic!

  • avatar

    WWCK FM in Flint had a novelty song. ‘I m a Flintoid.’

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