In order to better support the growing demand for full-size pickups here in the United States, General Motors has just announced that they will be investing some $76 million into two of their North American production facilities. More specifically, the company will be investing $70 million into its Tonawanda engine plant in New York, and an additional $6 million into their metal stamping facility in Parma, Ohio. The upgrades at both facilities will help the automaker ramp up production of their highly-profitable Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 pickup trucks.
According to General Motors, the $70 million investment in the Tonawanda engine plant will serve to increase the overall production capacity of the engine block machining line. The facility is currently responsible for building engines such as the 4.3L V6, 5.3L V8, and the 6.2L V8 family of engines that power GM’s ½ ton pickups and their Tahoe, Suburban, Yukon, and Escalade SUVs. Furthermore, the 6.6L V8 that powers the Silverado HD and Sierra HD is also built by the 1,300 employees that operate the plant.
The $6 million investment at the Parma facility is slated for use in constructing four new metal assembly cells, which will help the company increase production rates. Parma is currently processing over 800 tons of steel everyday, and is responsible for the majority of GM’s steel used in North American production. At current capacity the plant is able to churn out over 100 million parts a year, with that number only expected to rise following the upgrades.
General Motors hasn’t been shy about their desire to increase pickup truck production. Early last month the automaker reached a $1.1 billion CAD with Unifor, a Canadian auto workers union. The agreement called for the company’s Oshawa Assembly facility in Ontario to be transformed into a production line the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500. This latest round of investment only further cements the automaker’s plan to rebuild their national stock of trucks following pandemic-induced shortages.
As General Motors continues to push their plans for an electrified future product line, they haven’t completely forgotten about consumer taste. Americans have already shown that they aren’t ready to embrace this current generation of electric vehicles, and that the pickup truck still reigns supreme.