General Motors To Invest $20M in Arlington Plant and Focus on SUV Production

Looking to get a led up in the profitable auto segment of pickup trucks and SUVs, General Motors has announced a plan to invest in at least one of its American assembly plants in order to boost production. 

This week, General Motors revealed an oncoming investment of $20 million at the Arlington Assembly plant (in Arlington, TX). Specifically, the company says the investment will be aimed at upgrading plant conveyors ahead of launching new full-size SUVs.  Of course, GM builds many SUV models at the Arlington Assembly plant, including:  the Cadillac Escalade, the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, and the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL.

GM executive vice president of Global Manufacturing Gerald Johnson explains, “We’ve been building trucks in Texas for more than 20 years.  We are counting on the Arlington team to continue focusing on building the highest quality products possible for our customers while preparations continue for the launch of the next generation of our full-size SUVs.”

The move makes a lot of sense as GM has already invested nearly $1.5 billion in the Arlington Assembly plant, alone. Previous investments have funded improvements in the paint shop and the body shop as well as the general assembly area.  These upgrades are expected to be completed at some point next year. 

At the same time, these latest investments come at a time when GM has overcome quite harsh criticism from both politicians and the United Auto Workers labor union.  These criticisms came out of GM’s decision, late last year, to reduce its workforce by approximately 14,000, as well as commission down at least four plants in the US and one plant in Canada. 

That said, the investment at Arlington Assembly will not create any new jobs.  Furthermore, GM has not released—and does not plan to—any new information on when they will begin production in the next generation of full-size SUVs, or when those models will hit the market. 

In response to the investment, UAW Vice President Terry Dittes—who is director of the GM Department at UAW—commented, “We believe that building a product where you sell it is good for our members, their families, our communities, and all of America.  We hope to see more investments in the future at other General Motors facilities throughout our country.”