Plant Creativity Saves GM Millions

Fort-Wayne-truck-plant II

Creative solutions can save a lot of money, and if you happen to be building light-duty and heavy-duty pickup trucks for GM, those savings can run into the millions of dollars. Josh Cable of Industry Week magazine recently toured GM's truck assembly plant in Fort Wayne, Ind., and he discovered that when heavy-duty production was brought to the light-duty pickup plant in early 2010 (due to the bankruptcy reorganization), the team on site had to figure out how to incorporate heavy-duty production on a line that wasn't big enough to handle the larger truck lengths. 

The biggest challenge was how to fit the bigger, heavier-duty trucks (which now would inlcude duallys) in paint booths that were only long enough to hold the shorter, lighter-duty full-size. The solution was as simple as swapping long beds to regular cabs and short beds to extended cabs, then matching them back up with the right vehicles later in the assembly process. Likewise, painting dually long-bed boxes was solved by restructuring the process so painting could be done partially disassembled. 

These less traditional methods likely saved GM tens of millions of dollars in redesign and retooling costs at the Fort Wayne plant, and they ultimately helped GM invest that "found" money someplace where they more desperately needed it. For more details and information about the Fort Wayne truck plant in this article, click here


One day in the future someone will save the planet piloting a GM spaceship

yeeeeehawwwwwwww GM use you're brain more now like this and put SFA under the 3/4 and 1 tons you'll make more then you saved in this link

so when you buy a chevy and the entire paint job does not match exactly. do not be surprised

@ joeyjoj good point but it could all be one mix for 5 red trucks till it needs a new whole mix of paint so a long bed daully cab could go by then next a reg cab with the dually boxs passes so it still be the same mix of red juust depends on the volume of the paint machine

@joeyjoj - I just had the same thought. That was more critical in the day of volatiles used in paint. Current water based paints don't have the same problems (So I have been told).

@ Lou some paints are still hard to match but i think most cars trucks and so on are painted from a machine now days so if red truck need painted im sure they send red cabs in and truck boxs in the same one with the same mix of paint if they run low remix before they send the next cab or box in so all the paint is a match if you know what im saying

Awesome picture, beautiful truck.

I have to say I'm a ford fan and it kinda pisses me off they have to bad mouth ford but this gm commercial is pretty sweet!!

That was fantastic! That's the Chevrolet attitude I know and love. There's nothing better than a Chevrolet. Just give me a Platinum interior so I can take clients around better on winter roads. The CTS is rather slick and we need a truck at the office anyway. I will be waiting with my checkbook.

Necessity is the mother of invention. Or, in this case, creative solutions. It's a real shame that it cost the tax payers billions of dollars lost, to get to this point.

@ Joel Neimeier I can only imagine the ex California govenator Arnold Schwarzenegger saying what you just typed on your comment haha. THAT WAS FANTASTIC.

It is so nice to see other auto companies using the TPS system, Toyota should be proud...

Toyota has Deming, an American, to thank for their quality.

America should be proud...

So THAT explains why we can't get a friggin long bed anymore.

Gee whiz.

That's also probably explains why you can get a longer bed on a tacoma crewcab than on a tundra crew cab. Gotta fit it in the spray booth.

This is seriously the reason why I will probably be buying a Titan next time I need a truck. 7'3" box on their crew cab.
Everyone else can have fun with their bed extenders.

Japan has America to thank for pretty much everything, remember WWII. If they had won they would be 40/50 years behind like China was for so many years. And we have a England to thank, plus a whole lot of other people.

Funny how people and the world seem so far apart, but not really.

PS did not sleep last night, worrying about not having a SFA in my Silverado.

I agree with Max. When you have a crew cab you haul more people. More people means more coolers, gear, etc. I test drove the Titan with the 7'3" box and it was actually 4" shorter (244 - 248) than my old Chevy 1500 ext. long bed. The salesman didn't want to deal tho.

Word is Chevy is also going to target Toyota with the next commercial, too bad it will only be a revision of an older commercial....... Don't you buy no "ugly" truck!

I would like to see that commercial as I agree the tundra has a ugly front but the GM trucks have an ugly side profile to me and thats the Denali too.

@Bob from Canada - cool video clip.

Too bad GMC wasn't this creative pre - bankruptcy.

If GM was smart they would build and paint their HD's in Mexico. Then they wouldn't have these problems!

The comments to this entry are closed.