US: suppliers add jobs, facilities on increased GM pickup production image

General Motors has introduced the redesigned Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups on the production roaster this year and already the suppliers surrounding the Wentzville assembly facility push for increased output as well.

For example, since September, French parts conglomerate Faurecia has been fabricating the seats for the pickup trucks at a new manufacturing unit located next to the GM factory – making it the company’s 47th production plant in North America. GM is scheduled to reach three shifts for the new generation pickups that were brought in for assembly in Missouri from Louisiana and the suppliers surrounding the GM facility are expected to follow suit – Faurecia alone employs 1,070 people in the state.

Faurecia’s new facility is one of the brand new “just-in-time” plants, a new production strategy that relocates parts makers as close as possible to the original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, in this case GM. This means, for example, that four hours after GM notifies Faurecia it needs a specific seat type – such as brown leather – that unit would be on the automaker’s production line. GM contracts around 300 suppliers to fabricate the roughly 3,000 parts needed to produce the Wentzville-made pickups. The assembly facility also builds Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana full-size vans and has 2,600 employees.