GM made it official today that it will spend $328 million to refit its assembly plant in Flint, Mich., the General's historic home, to build the next generation of its key, profit-driving full-size pickups expected in 2013.
Flint is where 2,047 workers now build mostly heavy-duty versions of Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. GM says the money will keep or create 150 jobs. GM also builds versions of the trucks in Fort Wayne, Ind., and Silao, Mexico.
For a while, in the dark days of bankruptcy/recession/high gas prices, a next generation of the big trucks seemed in doubt as GM scaled back development. No more. "We remain committed to providing customers the utility and capability of our world-class full-size pickups," said Cathy Clegg, GM vice president of labor relations in a statement today. She said the new generation will be trucks that "offer better fuel efficiency than ever before without sacrificing features and functionality."
The $328 million and 150 jobs announced today are another part of the $2 billion GM earlier promised to spend in eight states over 18 months, creating or retaining about 4,000 jobs. Flint already got a piece with spending announced for the engine plant there and big chunks of the money and jobs are going to Detroit-Hamtramck to expand Volt production and build the new-generation Malibu and Impala.
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