General Motors, the largest US automaker and the world’s third biggest, has announced recently it would invest $877 million to refresh its pickup truck plant in Flint, Michigan.
This mark the final move in a massive series of expenses aimed at solidifying the automaker’s production of the high-revenue large pickups and sport utility vehicles as they would undergo the most significant model changeover during 2018. The Flint investment is part of a strategy that calls for increased production expansion at three US truck factories – they would gain new assembly lines, body welding shops and paint operations for the upcoming generations of Silverado pickups and SUVs, including the Chevrolet Tahoe and Cadillac Escalade. The plan calls for the upgrades to be done while the manufacturing operations continue for the current models – a move from the traditional production shut down for several weeks needed to overhaul the manufacturing facilities for the new generations. They usually increased the outgoing model to huge stocks and then discounted them – if any left – when the follow up reached the market.
GM has no intention to “take the whole facility down for six months and go dark in the market,” according to Cathy Clegg, head of North American manufacturing. She deferred from hinting when the next generation of large pickups and SUVs would reach the market, though sources said the company would build the upcoming vehicles using a variety of materials such as aluminum and lightweight steel. They would be needed in order to lose weight and increase the fuel efficiency level to be able to reach the upcoming stricter federal mandates.