GM to Invest $1.2 Billion in Indiana Assembly Plant

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By Aaron Bragman

GM has announced that it intends to invest $1.2 billion in its Fort Wayne, Ind., truck assembly plant. The upgrades are scheduled to start in June, with the investment spread out over the next few years. The upgrades will touch several areas of the plant but will not affect the output of the plant's full-size light- and heavy-duty pickup trucks, according to the company.

Part of the investment will go toward upgrading several of the plant's systems and parts delivery lines. The paint shop will get some special attention with a new thin-film paint pre-treatment facility, a new e-coat paint system that can be customized to each individual vehicle style and new radiant tube ovens for better paint finish with lower energy use. Parts delivery systems will get an upgrade, with a new skillet-type conveyor that will make it easier for workers to assemble instrument panels, hopefully resulting in fewer errors, better quality and healthier workers. New equipment that can accommodate more and varied styles of truck cabs and boxes as they are mated the chassis will also be employed.

The plant is currently running full tilt to keep up with the hot demand for full-size pickups. According to the company, its 3,800 employees are working a three-shift operation. This investment should ensure those jobs stick around for some time.


I don't think ford even spent that upgrading the 2 f150 plants.

Remember when BAFO and GM and the small truck extremists said they were better than Ford didn't have to spend a billion to upgrade their full-size truck plant. You are wrong again.

It's an investment over several years for general production and efficiency upgrades. Not the same thing as shutting down and revamping for a new product. The article clearly states this but it is a huge chunk if change, nonetheless.

that is a heck of a lot of money to invest in a plant that will still be producing essentially the same things as before. Seems like there must be more to this story. Maybe this is what GM is doing to be ready to switch to aluminum in a few years.

1.2 billion for worker ergonomically correct dash assembly line, and some new heaters with a new conveyor and some upgraded paint and coating booths........

This is about aluminum.... Typically spread out like this there will be cost over runs on such a slow switch to a new model.... 1.5 billion at least by the time gm gets this one plant converted to aluminum.

Boy, I wonder if this is costing GM $1.2 billion what did Ford spend on its new aluminium F-150 facilities.

It's odd Ford is keeping quite about the total cost of the aluminium F-150 development.

My $10 billion dollar estimate for the aluminium F-150 is looking very good, indeed. Ford will need to sell millions before seeing a return. Hmmmm........ths is what happens when an aviation guy is running a car business.

I do hope Ford start to sell at least 40 000 aluminium F-150s a year.

Ford investors beware.

The cost of Ford's change over should be covered in their quarterly reports. If one were to look at their financial statements it would be fairly easy to estimate. Ford globally was expecting reduced output and increased costs due to the change over to multiple new or revised platforms.

I would suspect the same as Beebe, some of these costs are preparations for their swap to aluminum. IIRC their approach to aluminum isn't much different than steel.

I believe Ford has been too ambitious in with their business model, mixed with some poor decision making.

Poor decision making is inevitable when making so many changes. But to make it with their bread and butter or goose that lays Ford's golden egg is a different matter.

Ford will need to move a considerable amount of the aluminium F-150s. I don't think this will occur, they will sell in large numbers, but not quite enough.

Like I've stated Ford phans and Ford will and must realise it will be the number two pickup manufacturer for the foreseeable future. Get used to being number two and their is a possibility it could be Ram's main rival.

We also still need to see the new competition as they roll out.

The XD Titan and Tundra "XD" if Toyota make them as rumoured will place pressure on HDs.

ALL HDs, not just Ram like you state will be affected by this.

Due to the additional costs involved for Ford to develop, build plants and use a different material for the F Series will impact Ford's bottom line significantly for some time to come.

Ford will put lots of money on the hoods of these aluminium F-150s to move them off of the lots. You Ford phan's will yell and party in jubilation, stating how correct you are in relation to the costs of the aluminium F-150s.

Remember Greece had lived beyond it means and look at Greece.

Ford doesn't have anything to worry about, Sergio from FCA is looking to merge with another large vehicle manufacturer.

Ford could be another Ram/Chrysler/Jeep for FCA.

Imagine that! Ford F Series sharing with Ram.

Funnier things have occurred before.

@Big Al - you carry on like Ford did not do a risk assessment and cost/profit ratio analysis.

Ford's goal is to change over to aluminum. That means every Ford pickup will be aluminum. It does not mean the 2015 model will be aluminum ONLY for its product run.

Did anyone say the same things as you when the airline industry went aluminum?

Oh,,,,,,we have to go back to cloth to cover our fuselages since aluminum is new and costly ;)

359 million to switch Dearborn to the aluminum production f150.

1.1 billion to upgrade Kansas City but that includes building the transit van manufacturing lines and facilities in KC

It will take some much better data and information for me to change my view on the direction Ford had headed in with it's F Series.

The F Series might appear to be the greatest thing since the light bulb and sliced bread, but, what if people don't like the bread or the light bulbs blow often???

This has happened to other brands in history.

Maybe there is too much of a change and the cost a little to high for people to trust.

BAFO.... Using coke as an example of how to do business in today's North America market and globally as well is not a good example. Maybe try again with your analogy and use maybe Apple as a bench mark....
Last week Coke announced third quarter earnings, and they were down 14%. The CEO admitted he was struggling to find growth for the company as soda sales were flat. U.S. sales of carbonated beverages have been declining for a decade, and Coke has not developed a successful new product line – or market – to replace those declines.

Big Al from Oz - companies are well aware of the psychology of change......

Why do you think Ford went aluminum BUT the looks of the truck are very close to the old truck?

Did they go too far?

Time will tell.

My comment that you found lame was deliberate to point out the oddity of your comments. The change over is going to be a decades long amortization not a generational model run.

You don't impress me as being a Luddite but you do impress me as being one who does not fair well with dissenting opinions.

@Big Al--Coke did mess their formula up, it was called the new Coke. That was in 1986 and people stopped buying it. The old Coke was released as Coca Cola Classic and just recently it dropped the Classic from its name. I don't think Ford will lose any money over time but it will take some cash on the hood and some aggressive advertising to sell the new F-150s. Ram and GM are not standing still and will be even more aggressive in gaining market share.

I do see GM making a big comeback helped by the failure of the F-150.

I did my best to warn Ford but I can't do anything about it cause they won't listen to me.

Just like Ford made the modular Triton Engine you can make a modular F-150. Not only are my ideas exciting they are extremely cost saving.
You have to give the customer want he wants NOT what you want!
You have to take 2 steps back before you take 1 step forward.
The farmer and rough tough working man started the pickup truck, you must go back to that then watch the pieces of the puzzle fall into place by themselves.

I am trying to help you!


So.... Total prolly around 1.5-1.6 billion.... The other 300-400 million prolly to the transit. For a total of 1.9 billion......

Last quarter ford had almost 1 billion in profit after taxes. So after 2 quarters of 2015, ford will have made enough profits to pay off the cost of upgrading the plants for 1/2 tons and transit production.

Another way to look at it if they pay this off over 10 years that is only 200 million.... Or around 1/5th of fords first quarter profits.

Another way to look at it.... FCA 1st quarter after tax profits of just shy of 100 million.... If FCA wanted to pay off this upgrade if they chose to upgrade there plants for aluminum useage like ford and gm are doing it would take 5 full years of ALL there profits to even do it.

Hence is the reason FCA is on there knees begging for a merger.... There broke

Thanks zvera for finding the total cost of the upgrading plants for both the Americas best 1/2 ton, the f150 and America's best van, the transit.

You proved BAFO's 10 billion figure out of the water!!! You completely owned him bro!!!! Good job!!!!

Fiat Chrysler will abandon its 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty in the United States for the 2016 model year in favor of a 5-year/60,000-mile guarantee.

Smart for GM to invest more money in the facility that builds the best pickup truck today. When you make money from a quality product, it only makes sense to invest in that product.

RAM doesn't need aluminium.

Posted by: Zvera | May 27, 2015 8:42:50 PM

You are correct. They don't need aluminum>>>>> They need help, a sustainable business plan and to be bailed out again. Reducing warranties, increasing msrp, delaying recalls on the ram and jeep line is the last ditch effort since every auto manufacturer is running away from sergio's merger talk. The new grill and big letters on the tailgate is the fat lady singing on the Ram brand.

@ zvera
Ford Made a profit of almost a billion last quarter despite being shut down and having to pay for upgrades. Ford makes a gob of profit.

Ram still won't eclipse GM or Ford's numbers. Toyota combined between tundra and tacoma easily outsells ram. Ram only sold like 38,000 trucks last year for the month of May. Even if they have a 10% gain they still won't match Ford or GM. Plus Fiat isn't making any great profit off there Rams or Jeeps. When Fiat goes bankrupt Ford will rescue Jeep and VW will buy the Ram brand and Kia will buy the dodge brand and Fiat will tuck tail and put there garbage cars back on the boat to try and peddle them in europe.

I can't believe PUTC removed my Coke comment, but yet they allow HemiV8, Tom#3, Cummins and the rest post their dribble.

PUTC what are you thinking???????

Really, are you a pro Ford site?????

I have been mentioned in every comment in here, even I didn't post any. LOL.

@BAFO - That's why it's called "invested" capital. Or reinvested. That comes from something we like to call "profits".

Surplus profits are otherwise heavily taxed when not invested back into the cash printing machinery, otherwise known as Detroit based full-size pickups.

The new generation of GM pickups are obviously already into the pure profits stage. Throwing large piles of cash back into the factory that streamlines the process, means even MORE profits!

And we're talking some extreme and obscene profitability for the top 3 full-size pickups.

But your $10 billion wild guess is at least 2X overestimated. Except it would still be no problem, not it the least, for the #1 most profitable vehicles in the world, the F-series.

F-series have been clearing 2 or $3 billion a year in pure taxable profits for the past 20 years. That's after initial R&D, factory, every possible expense involved, were all paid back.

Now you can expect 4 or $5 billion a year, pure F-series profits for the next 20 years.

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