General Motors will invest $1 billion in two of its factories in Flint to build the next generation of the automaker’s gasoline-burning heavy duty pickups.
On Monday, GM said it will invest the money in Flint Assembly and Flint Metal Center, but it is not releasing any further details about the next-generation heavy-duty pickups or any other future products, including timing.
GM said this latest investment “highlights the company’s commitment to continue providing customers a strong portfolio of (internal combustion engine) vehicles for years to come.” GM plans to offer all electric vehicles by 2030.
“These investments reflect our commitment to our loyal truck customers and the efforts of the dedicated employees of Flint Assembly and Flint Metal Center,” Gerald Johnson, GM’s executive vice president of Global Manufacturing and Sustainability, said in a statement.
GM builds its heavy-duty Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups at Flint Assembly. The 5.2 million square foot plant employees just over 5,000 people, according to GM’s website. On the same campus sits Flint Metal Center, where it presses the sheet metal used on GM’s heavy-duty and light duty pickups and where the company employs 478 people. GM spokesman David Barnas said the company expects to retain the current level of employment with this investment.
Details of today’s announcements include:
- Flint Assembly: GM will invest $788 million to expand the body shop, general assembly conveyor and providing new tooling and equipment.
- Flint Metal Center: GM will invest $233 million for new stamping dies, refurbishments and equipment to support production of the next-generation pickups.
For 2022, GM sold 188,751 heavy-duty Silverado pickups, a 36% increase from 2021. Similarly, for 2022 sales of the Sierra heavy-duty pickup soared 40% to 99,118 compared with 2021.
“When business is booming as it has been for the past decade — due to the hard work of UAW members — the company should continue to invest in its workforce,” said Mike Booth, UAW vice president of GM department.
UAW Local 598 Shop Chairman Eric Welter told the Free Press the investment is the result of the hard work by union members.
“This workforce is diligent in creating their own job security,” Welter said. “They are truly the greatest truck builders in the world.”
Flint Engine Operations is also on the campus. There, GM employs 700 people to make the engine for the Chevrolet Malibu and the diesel engines for GM’s light duty pickups. The diesel engines for the heavy-duty pickups are made at DMAX Ltd. in Moraine, Ohio.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer was at the ceremony announcing the investment called it “a game changer” adding, “GM is betting on the skilled, experienced union workers who call Michigan home, and showing that Michigan is the best place to pioneer the electrified, high-tech future of mobility. To build on the more than $16 billion in projects and 16,000-plus high-skill, good-paying jobs we have brought home thanks to bipartisan economic development tools, I proposed Make It In Michigan, a strategy to win projects, invest in people, and revitalize communities. I look forward to our continued work alongside GM to invest in Michigan workers.”
Monday also marked the groundbreaking for redevelopment of the former Buick City site in Flint. New York-based developer Ashley Capital plans to start construction on the first phase of a $300 million redevelopment of the industrial site along the Flint River. It will be called the Flint Commerce Center, according to Flint TV station WJRT.
Buick City covers 350 acres of land that one of the world’s largest factories once occupied. The developers plan to build up to 10 buildings covering more than 3.5 million square feet of floor space. When completed, the site is expected to attract about 3,000 jobs. The first building should be complete and available for industrial use early next year.