The next generation GM SUV family is right around the corner, and the automaker announced this week that it will invest another $20 million for its Arlington Assembly Plant to upgrade plant conveyors in preparation for the launch of the next-generation Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Tahoe, and GMC Yukon family. Since 2015, GM has invested more than $1.4 billion in Arlington Assembly, mostly toward a new paint shop, and for body shop and general assembly area upgrades.
Arlington remains the sole assembly plant for all of GM’s fullsize, body-on-frame SUVs. The updates are expected to be completed next year. Arlington Assembly, built in 1954, employs 4,500 people, and operates three shifts. Additionally, the plant runs entirely on wind power.
The automaker has absolutely dominated in this coveted, high-profit margin space. Dealers sold over 282,000 full-size GM SUV models in 2018 — outselling Ford Motor Company’s offerings nearly 4:1.
GM has invested more than $23 billion in its U.S. manufacturing base since 2009. And even though American plants like Lordstown Assembly and Detroit-Hamtramck are shuttering, and its investments in China and Korea continue, that’s more than one-quarter of every dollar spent by any automaker.
With the all-new GM SUV products set to launch in 2020, expect them to show face later this year. Sources have indicated that the 2020 Cadillac Escalade will lead the charge, followed closely by the 2020 Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, as well as the 2020 GMC Yukon and Yukon Denali family.
Don’t expect the formula to change, too much, however. Body-on-frame design, rear-wheel-drive layout, and V8 engine will all be present and accounted for. That said, it might finally be time that GM offers alternative powertrain offerings, such as hybrids. On the other end of the spectrum, it was once rumored that these SUVs would see a supercharged LT4 V8 under the hood. Between a Chevrolet Suburban Hybrid and a Suburban with potentially 650 horsepower, we’d know which one we’d choose.