GM Invests Big in Full-Size Trucks

At the GM Fort Wayne Assembly Plant in Indiana, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups are produced.

At the GM Fort Wayne Assembly Plant in Indiana, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups are produced.

Which is a pretty simple statement to make.

But know that at the 3.03-million sq. ft. facility, at which some 3,800 people work, they’re building 4WD, 2WD; V6, V8 conventional, V8 flex fuel, V8 active fuel management, V8 diesel; LD short box on Regular Cab; short and long box on Double Cab; 4WD HD Regular Cab long box; HD ¾-ton Double Cab short and long box; HD 1-ton Double Cab long box, Single Rear Wheel and Dual Rear Wheel for both the Chevy and the GMC vehicles.

Yes, that’s a lot of complexity.

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The light-duty truck is an essential part of GM’s North American sales. Which goes a long way to explaining why the corporation announced this week that it is investing $1.2-billion in Fort Wayne.

“Truck customers demand top quality,” said Cathy Clegg, GM North America Manufacturing vice president. “The upgrades at Fort Wayne Assembly will enable our team to continue delivering them for years to come.”

And the investment is going to take years to deploy.

They’re going to be building a new paint pre-treatment facility that will feature thin-film capability. They’re installing e-coat paint equipment that will allow customized processing for each vehicle style and radiant tube ovens (using GM’s own patented technology).

And in non-paint technology, there’s equipment that facilitates handling the variations of cabs and boxes that are being fitted to chassis, as well new skillet conveyance systems for instrument panel build.

The body shop is being expanded, new material sequencing centers will be setup, and the general assembly area will be upgraded.

Work is to commence next month.

Completion will take several years.

Let’s face it $1.2-billion is several dollars.