By on May 14, 2020

Production at General Motors’ Mexican assembly plants could start up next week, following a go-ahead from the country’s leadership to resume factory activity. The faster GM’s able to come back online south of the Rio Grande, the better.

In an earnings briefing last week, GM, like its rival Fiat Chrysler, pointed to a declining inventory of lucrative pickups — a segment that proved extremely resilient over the past two months, even during the depths of the coronavirus lockdown. With U.S. plants resuming work on Monday, a concurrent Mexican restart is what the company needs.

Sources tell Bloomberg that GM’s three Mexican plants could see production return next week, as long as the automaker meets conditions set by the government.

Mexico, much to the chagrin of UAW and Unifor, is a crucial manufacturing base for GM, which builds the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra at its Silao facility. Tied to that plant is a propulsion facility building V6 and V8 engines for light-duty trucks, commercial vehicles, and sports cars, as well as six-, eight- and 10-speed transmissions.

Out of the Ramoz Arizpe facility comes the Chevrolet Blazer midsize crossover, along with small-block V8s and High-Feature V6s. The automaker’s San Luis Potosi plant builds the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain compact crossovers (GM also builds the Equinox in Ontario, Canada), as well as six-speed automatics bound for FWD and AWD models.

GM’s Mexican output took a hit from last fall’s UAW strike, with the automaker forced to idle plants amid a parts shortage. That hampered pickup production. Then came the pandemic and March’s continent-wide production halt. Pickups continued to sell in strong numbers, however, draining a pool of trucks that couldn’t be replenished. In March, GM reported an 87 days’ supply of Silverado models.

With pickup sales already back to normal, GM’s half-ton cupboard must be getting close to bare.

[Images: General Motors]

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14 Comments on “Poised for Pickups: Mexican Restart Can’t Come Soon Enough for GM...”


  • avatar
    eggsalad

    GM and RAM build their low-spec work trucks (especially regular cabs) in Mexico. Look for the leading “3” in the VIN. Ford regular cabs are built in the US.

    I’ve been shopping.

    • 0 avatar
      redapple

      EGG:

      I believe the Ram Classic is Hencho. New Style is Van Dyke road only.

      GM pickups? 1/2 tons are Hencho and Ft Wayne. Flint is 3/4 and others.

      • 0 avatar
        Peter Gazis

        redapple

        Spanish: El nuevo RAM hecho en Michigan y Mexico.
        English: The new RAM is built in Michigan and Mexico

        • 0 avatar
          redapple

          PETER

          Once again we lock antlers- like you want to fight.
          Mexican made Ram are Classic and HD.

          ALL NEW STYLE RAM 1500 ARE MADE IN MICHIGAN.

          Let s make a deal. I ll try and stay out of your way. Please give me just a tiny bit of the same.

          • 0 avatar
            Peter Gazis

            redapple

            English: Pickup truck sales are at record levels. FCA has said they will be building some new RAMs in Mexico. You can have your own opinion, but not your own facts.
            American: You’re just mad because the Mexicans are converting Trump’s Wall into scrap metal and using that metal to build Tacomas.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      ‘HECHO” en Mexico, not “Hencho”. It’s the past participle of the verb HACER – to do or to make. Hopefully you research your opinions better than you do your use of language.

      Mexico is currently #4 worldwide in new COVID-19 cases per day, and their numbers reporting is likely grossly underestimated.
      Restarting factory production is likely to cost a considerable number of lives. Greed and impatience once again trump common sense, but that’s apparently human nature.

  • avatar
    CaddyDaddy

    Hen – a – rall de Me – Hee – Ko. Chinese knock down kits slapped together in Mexico. That about sums up GM

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Why not offer GM and FCA tax credits to bring pick-up truck production back to US plants? Big business tax cuts? A sop to the UAW? It’d be worth it just to watch the umbrage. A possible 500 comment post.

  • avatar
    1500cc

    Are we still calling GM’s DOHC V6s “high feature”? GM hasn’t produced a “high value” (i.e. OHV) passenger car V6 in 7-8 years, we can probably do away with the distinction.

    • 0 avatar
      AthensSlim

      “High Feature V6” isn’t just a colloquial term, it’s the name of the engine family. Until the General designs a replacement (unlikely anytime soon), that’s the name it’s stuck with.

      Having said that, I think the only V6 that comes out of Ramos is the small block based OHV 4.3. The HFV6 is made in Romulus and mayyyyybe still St Catharines.

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