By on May 30, 2019

With pickups and crossover vehicles serving as the lifeblood of domestic manufacturers, General Motors is setting aside $24 million for its Fort Wayne truck assembly plant. While the investment isn’t expected to result in any job creation, it does aim to boost production volume of the new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra in Allen County, Indiana.

According to GM, combined sales of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab pickups, which launched last year, were up 20 percent in the first quarter of 2019 versus the year prior. This isn’t surprising, considering new versions of popular models typically see an uptick in sales, but General Motors says it anticipates another sizable increase in demand over the second quarter and wants the facility to be ready. 

“We are building Chevrolet and GMC crew cab pickups at record volume and mix levels to meet customer demand and the $24 million investment will allow us to build even more,” said CEO Mary Barra in a statement. “The team here at Fort Wayne has done an outstanding job helping us satisfy customers throughout this launch. Our product ramp-up was very smooth and the quality has been exceptional. Crew cab sales have been very strong, and we are expanding customer choice with new models, more cab choices and innovative new powertrains.”

GM

While substantially less than the $1.2 billion the company dumped into the facility in 2015, the manufacturer said the latest investment will go to improving conveyors and other tooling at the plant to support increased production targets. Renovations will reportedly be completed over the summer with minimal downtime.

Regular and double cab models started production late in the first quarter of 2019.

While the 4,000 plus workers at Fort Wayne bask in positive news, GM’s restructuring plan (which tentatively involves ending production at five North American plants) is still coming under harsh criticism from the likes of the UAW. The company has since announced new job opportunities in Ohio and fresh EV-focused positions at Orion Assembly in Michigan. It hasn’t made up for the job cuts, but it has softened some of the harsh rhetoric being tossed its way.

Additional investments wouldn’t be surprising as the year progresses, with the biggest news likely coming after General Motors finalizes contract renegotiations with the UAW this fall.

[Images: General Motors]

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10 Comments on “General Motors Drops More Cash for Pickup Production...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    So GM wrote a PO for $24 million worth of conveyor systems and other support equipment.

    For perspective, that’s about what they spend every hour. No news here.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Well, it’s a photo-op for Madame Chairman – see the photo? – and $24 million sounds like a lot of money to most people. If you’re looking for news in the article, note the last paragraph, and everything falls into place. All the major cuts and closures have been well ahead of the next contract negotiations, and the drip-drip of minor investments will follow up to then. That’s the news here.

      • 0 avatar
        Detroit-X

        The breathtaking GM arrogance of such a minuscule announcement: Heck, Barra earns $22M per year, so yes, $24M is ridiculous peanuts.

        Enjoy your investment in new carpet, Fort Wayne.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    On the picture above:
    – Joe
    – yes madam
    – you can collect your severance package in HR office
    – thanks madam

  • avatar
    johnny_5.0

    Are they investing in the engine plant that makes the new 2.7? They’ll need to since everyone has been clamoring for a 4 banger V model and The General has delivered.

  • avatar

    Oh no, not the Sierra with that rubbish interior. I am astounded on how cheap feeling GM truck and SUV interiors are. If the customer does not care maybe GM shouldn’t.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Apparently a huge part of the plant has a roof that’s not watertight in some areas so I’m sure that’s a big part of the “other tooling” upgrades. Their fullsize pickups are their biggest money making/generating source so it’s bizarre the plant and the trucks are so neglected compared to Ford/Ram rivals.

    This guy working at the plant (sort of hiding his identity) is whistle blower to pickup buyers, so take this video with a grain of salt.

    youtube.com/watch?v=-p_7OephMOM

    Just ignore the part about bent frames, water intrusion to cabs, and other defects simply forced down the line, not fixed, plus other corners being cut on Silverado/Sierra pickups. A real shame if true.

    • 0 avatar

      Don’t forget about the poor crash scores these new GM trucks got. There are numerous quality issues with all GM trucks and SUVs. You get the impression they just don’t care.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Exactly! And that’s why I have tried to steer my best friend toward anything BUT a GM truck.

        But his wife wants a 2019 or 2020 Silverado 4dr with a Power Driver Seat (she’s tiny).

        He’s conflicted.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    WordPress SUCKS especially on mobile devices, so I am going to quote DenverMike here:

    “DenverMike
    May 31st, 2019 at 7:41 am
    Apparently a huge part of the plant has a roof that’s not watertight in some areas so I’m sure that’s a big part of the “other tooling” upgrades. Their fullsize pickups are their biggest money making/generating source so it’s bizarre the plant and the trucks are so neglected compared to Ford/Ram rivals.

    This guy working at the plant (sort of hiding his identity) is whistle blower to pickup buyers, so take this video with a grain of salt.

    youtube.com/watch?v=-p_7OephMOM

    Just ignore the part about bent frames, water intrusion to cabs, and other defects simply forced down
    the line, not fixed, plus other corners being cut on Silverado/Sierra pickups. A real shame if true.”

    IT IS TRUE.

    The Fort Wayne assembly plant is literally crumbling in real time, even though it produces some of the most profitable vehicles for Guangzhou-Guadalajara Motors.

    Yes, those trucks are basically knock-down kits comprised of around 50% Chinese, Mexican, Vietnamese, Thai made parts, but the points that a) buyers of those trucks hang American Flags on them or bumper sticker them up with patriotic jingoism, b) pay nosebleed prices for wretched quality (not the fault of the line workers; they do what upper management says), c) those Chinsesium-Mexicalish Silverados and Sierras HD are slapped together as quickly as possible while the rains pour down onto the factory floor, and d) Guangzhou-Guadalajara Motors nets $12,000 to $18,000 per each of these vehicles, should reinforce the point that Guangzhou-Guadalajara Motors is incapable of change, and is the British-Leyland of the USA (having already been taxpayer bailed out multiple times, and literally taxpayer owned in 2009-2011).

    This is Guangzhou-Guadalajara Motors DNA. A trillion newly injected stem cells from a reputable company could not alter this manifest destiny of a perpetual rolling dumpster fire.

    And the results are again speaking for themselves, as Guangzhou-Guadalajara Motors loses. Ore and more truck market share (blah, pay, blah, “GM is focused on profitably,” – good luck with all that when the new vehicle market really contracts again, which is starting to happen).

    A dilapidated assembly facility of knock down foreign parts kits in Fort Wayne, with a partially open sunroof, letting spring showers in, flooding new truck cabs, with workers grinding down improperly fitting sections/metal components, to git’r done! (removing protection from corrosion that had been put in place by zinc baths of the cabs), and interiors being installed in cabs still holding enough rainwater to sink a small dingy, all in a factory resembling what one would expect to see out of 1970s British-Leyland, plastic sheeting/draping hanging all over the place, in the midlands!

    And I guaran-dam-tee that these are just the beginning of the problems in that facility, and assembly of those “professional grade” Heavy Duty! pickups.

    BEHIND AN EMMINENCE FRONT
    IT’S A PUT ON.

    *One year of Mary Barra’s salary + stock compensation could at least fix the roof at Fort Wayne and keep the flood waters from pouring in.


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