GM invests $1 billion in manufacturing of latest heavy-duty pickup vans

Assembly line workers work on the chassis of full-size General Motors pickup trucks at the Flint Assembly plant in Flint, Michigan June 12, 2019.

JEFF KOWALSKY / AFP / Getty Images

DETROIT – General Motors plans to invest more than $1 billion in two plants in Michigan to produce next-generation heavy-duty trucks, the company announced Monday.

The investment includes $788 million to prepare the Flint Assembly Plant for the construction of heavy-duty gas and diesel trucks. Another $233 million will be invested in the automaker’s Flint Metal Center to support production of the vehicles. Both plants are in the heart of Michigan.

Despite GM’s pledge to offer all-electric vehicles by 2035, the company continues to invest in traditional vehicles like the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra heavy-duty pickups.

The most profitable trucks are in high demand, and sales are needed to fund the automaker’s electric vehicle investments.

A GM spokesman said construction related to the investments is expected to begin in the fourth quarter. He declined to reveal details and timing of the next-gen pickups.

In 2022, GM reported a 38% year-over-year increase in sales of its heavy-duty pickups, representing nearly 288,000 trucks sold.

The investment announcement comes ahead of contract negotiations between Detroit-based automakers, including GM, and the United Auto Workers union this summer.

For investors, the UAW negotiations are typically a four-year short-term headwind that leads to higher costs. However, this year’s negotiations are expected to be among the most contentious and important in recent history, fueled by a labor movement that has been organized across the country for years, a pro-union president and an industry in transition towards all-electric vehicles.

“When business is booming like it has been over the last decade — due to the hard work of UAW members — the company should continue to invest in its workforce,” UAW Vice President Mike Booth, who heads the union’s GM division, said in a letter release .

UAW leaders publicly laid out their key negotiating issues last week, including reinstating a cost-of-living adjustment that was scrapped during the Great Recession; increased job security; and the end of an entry-level or tiered pay system in which members receive differential wages and benefits.

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