General Motors is planning to invest over $1 billion to retool and upgrade two of its manufacturing plants in Flint, Michigan. According to a statement from GM, the move is in preparation for the next generation of its internal combustion heavy-duty trucks.
Of the $1.7 billion earmarked for these two plants — $579 million will go to Flint Engine Operations to build its sixth generation of small block V8 combustion engines. (Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.) Another $103.5 million will also be spent upgrading a separate Flint facility that supports truck production.
In total, the Flint Assembly will be getting a $788 million investment that’ll go toward things like a body shop building expansion, general assembly conveyor expansion and new tooling and equipment. The Flint Metal Center will receive $233 million for new stamping dies as well as a press refurbishment and new equipment.
The investments are meant to bolster GM’s U.S. manufacturing operations, which cover over 50 assembly, stamping, propulsion and component plans and parts distribution centers across the United States, which are vital to its Heavy Duty pickup sales. GM says it saw a 38 percent rise in sales year over year, selling about 288,000 HD pickup trucks in 2022.
The United Auto Workers have been big on pushing automakers for more investments into existing plants and infrastructure, and this appears to check that box. In the interim, Reuters reports that GM is expected to start bargaining with the United Auto Workers union for a new contract soon. The two sides have until September 14 to reach an agreement.
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