General Motors (GM) has announced a significant investment of over $1 billion in its Flint Assembly Plant, located in Flint, Michigan. The funds will be allocated towards the production of the next generation of gas/diesel-powered GM’s heavy-duty pickup trucks. Alongside the assembly plant, the investment will also benefit the adjacent Flint Metal Center. However, specific details about the upcoming heavy-duty pickups and their release timeline have not been disclosed by the company.
GM’s decision to invest in Flint underscores its commitment to providing customers with a diverse range of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles for the foreseeable future. It is important to note that GM has previously announced plans to offer an exclusively electric vehicle lineup by 2030, reflecting the industry’s shift towards sustainability and zero-emission transportation.
Gerald Johnson, GM’s executive vice president of Global Manufacturing and Sustainability, expressed gratitude towards the loyal truck customers and the dedicated workforce at Flint Assembly and Flint Metal Center. The manufacturing facilities in Flint currently produce the heavy-duty Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. Flint Assembly, occupying an expansive 5.2 million square feet, employs more than 5,000 workers, while Flint Metal Center, responsible for pressing sheet metal used in heavy-duty and light-duty pickups, employs 478 individuals. GM spokesperson David Barnas confirmed that the investment aims to maintain the current level of employment.
The Flint Assembly plant will receive a $788 million investment, which will facilitate the expansion of the body shop and general assembly conveyor. Additionally, new tooling and equipment will be provided to support production. At the Flint Metal Center, GM plans to invest $233 million to acquire new stamping dies, refurbish existing equipment, and introduce additional machinery in preparation for the production of the next-generation pickups.
GM’s heavy-duty pickups, the Silverado and Sierra, have experienced remarkable sales growth. In 2022, the company sold 188,751 heavy-duty Silverado pickups, reflecting a 36% increase from the previous year. Similarly, sales of the Sierra heavy-duty pickup reached 99,118 units, marking a 40% surge compared to 2021.
The investment in Flint Assembly and Flint Metal Center has received positive feedback from the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, which represents the interests of GM employees. Mike Booth, UAW vice president of GM department, emphasized the importance of continued investment during prosperous times, crediting the success to the hard work of union members.
Flint Engine Operations, also situated on the campus, currently employs 700 individuals responsible for manufacturing engines for the Chevrolet Malibu and diesel engines for GM’s light-duty pickups. The diesel engines for heavy-duty pickups are produced at DMAX Ltd. in Moraine, Ohio.
In addition to the investment in GM’s facilities, the former Buick City site in Flint is undergoing redevelopment. Ashley Capital, a New York-based developer, has broken ground on the first phase of a $300 million project called the Flint Commerce Center. The redevelopment aims to transform the 350-acre industrial site, previously home to one of the world’s largest factories. The project anticipates constructing up to 10 buildings, covering over 3.5 million square feet of floor space. Once completed, the revitalized site is expected to generate approximately 3,000 jobs.