GM to invest more than $500 mln in Texas plant for future SUVs

June 8 (Reuters) – General Motors (GM.N) said Thursday it will invest more than $500 million in its Arlington, Texas assembly plant to prepare it for production of next-generation internal combustion engine full-size SUVs.

The Detroit automaker is making a series of announcements this month. Efforts to retool existing North American auto plants and introduce more efficient next-generation internal combustion models are also being planned, sources told Reuters. GM faces increasingly stringent emissions requirements from California and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The total investments being announced this month could be around $3 billion, sources said.

On Monday, GM said it plans to invest more than $1 billion to re-tool two manufacturing sites in Flint, Michigan to prepare for a new generation of its internal combustion engine heavy-duty (HD) trucks.

The Texas investment will be used to provide new tooling and equipment in the stamping and assembly areas of the plant that manufactures the company’s entire line-up of full-size sport utility vehicles (SUVs), including Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban.

GM, which has vowed to end production of gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035, said the Texas announcement highlights the company’s commitment to continue providing customers with a strong portfolio of (internal combustion)vehicles for years to come.”

On Tuesday, GM said it would invest C$280 million ($210 million) in its Canadian Oshawa Assembly to produce the next-generation internal combustion engine full-size trucks.

GM paid $128.2 million in fines for failing to meet Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) program requirements for 2016 and 2017, records released Friday show.

The EPA in April proposed requiring a 56% reduction in projected fleet average emissions over 2026 requirements.

GM CEO Mary Barra and manufacturing chief Gerald Johnson met with Michigan lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to outline its efforts to meet aggressive emissions requirements, investment strategies and autonomous vehicle plans.

GM faces pressure from the United Auto Workers union, which will enter contract talks with the Detroit Three automakers this summer. The UAW is seeking significant pay and benefit increases and improved pay for workers at GM’s joint battery manufacturing ventures.

Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington and Shivansh Tiwary in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar and Diane Craft

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