Construction is set to begin at GM's Wentzville, Mo., plant in July in order to accommodate a third stamping plant. The extra press will allow the plant more flexibility in the production of the new midsize Chevy and GMC pickup trucks due out for the 2015 model year.
The $133 million upgrade brings the grand total of the Missouri plant, which used to produce the full-size Chevy Express and GMC Savana vans, to more than $500 million. The extra stamping plant will add another 114,000 square feet to the Wentzville Assembly and Stamping facility, and presumably allow GM to be more efficient about which cab configurations and wheelbases it can produce.
"Our investment in a third stamping press is a win for the business, Wentzville employees and our customers," said Larry Zahner, manufacturing manager for GM North America, in a statement. "Stamping parts where we assemble vehicles improves manufacturing efficiency and contributes to the high level of quality our customers deserve."
Wentzville Assembly employs approximately 2,000 employees across two shifts. The new press will increase the plant's capacity in stamping fenders, doors and other key components for the new pickups and full-size vans.
Expect the new midsize pickups to follow the Silverado/Sierra playbook when they get closer to their rollout and debut dates. GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson has been quoted as saying the new 2014 half-ton pickups are "probably our best launch ever."
For the full press release, click here.