GM Makes Big Investment in Michigan Plant

Flint Truck Assembly 3 II

In the name of continuous improvement and part of a larger $5.4 billion investment, GM just announced it will build a new body shop near its truck assembly plant in Flint, Mich., in order to improve the production process for the next-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra light- and heavy-duty pickups.

The Flint plant opened in 1947 and has produced more than 13 million vehicles; it is somewhat famous for what is called "view builds," which allow customers to see the truck they've ordered roll through the build process and off the line after the necessary inspections.

The 2016 half-ton GM pickups have just undergone a mid-model refresh; they are likely to debut at the State Fair of Texas in September. The Silverado and Sierra 2500/3500 pickups will likely get their mid-model refresh for the 2017 lineup.

According to GM officials, the automaker will invest almost $900 million dollars to create the all-new body shop located closer to the Flint Metal Center. This will make delivery easier and more efficient while reducing the handling costs and the time it takes to ship parts from one facility to another. The 883,000-square-foot body shop is scheduled to open in 2018. Additionally, construction already has begun on a new stand-alone paint shop on the same property that is likely to cost $600 million dollars; it should open in fall of 2016.

Although not announced yet, we assume we'll hear more about GM's two other pickup truck production plants (one in Fort Wayne, Ind., and the other in Silao, Mexico) and what investments it will make to improve production and efficiency when they start producing the 2016 half-tons and 2017 heavy-duties.

Whether any of these production facilities will use more exotic materials like aluminum or high-strength steel to reduce overall weight (to help improve fuel economy), we can only speculate. However, our guess is that these production and plant changes will include processes and machinery that could accommodate significant changes in body panel, chassis or other structural components.

Manufacturer images


GM-Manufacturing-Investments-Map II



looks like gm is a little late to the party playing "follow the leader" with ford about 5 years out in front

gm is already having a party crushing ford sales lol

So will gm switch to aluminum in the next five years?

Willie, I;m trying to figure out your statement. Ford re-tooled their plants to be able to handle the aluminum. Their truck(Ford) is now just 200 lbs heavier then Chevy. Chevy is building 2 new buildings closer to their plants to cut down on transportation cost and time. So how is Ford 5 years a head of Chevy? In what way? I have no dog in the fight, just trying to understand, maybe I am missing something. Spending is good for the economy

That's a lot of money. What they aren't telling you is that a lot of this is probably in preparation for their switchover to aluminum in a few years. They've already acknowledged that they will be using a lot more aluminum in the future. But they don't want to advertise that right now because it just proves that they are years behind ford.

With GM merger with FCA next year, they will need the new space to build the 2018 RAM.

General Motors says it will have aluminum-bodied pickup trucks by 2018.

I don't want gm to switch to alum (and i think after consumers lack of acceptance in fords alum trucks gm may be still deciding to do it or not) but can you imagine how much lighter gm trucks would be than ford, who with alum can't even get down to gm weight. I do have allot of people that i plow with that use fords and and NONE of them want the super dooty to switch to alum and two off them are ready to switch to gm the only reason they bought their last 2012 f250s was because they both have family that works for ford and they get a discount. they both plow on the same route as me and they both have to rebuild there front ends every two years on there fords, and my 06 2500hd has only had it done once in 10 yrs of plowing and my plow weights 50lbs more that theirs.

I have never seen where G M has stated they were going to a full aluminum truck like Ford. I did see where G M & FCA both made a statement to Automotive News back in Jan. that after seeing the way Ford had turned out they both may go with a combination high strength steel, alum and fiber which is what the Euro. Market announced they were going too last weak.

Can't wait to see the military grade aluminum Chevy and gmc pickups that come out of this new body shop!!!!

chuck that article was posted 1 1/2 ago a lot can change by then
even if gm secured alum sheet metal almost all cars have alum hoods, trunks and other misc sheet metal parts. they could be securing the sheet metal as a just in case scenario.

skeeter your so full of crap, every two years, the dodge and ford front ends are way stronger than the GM IFS. its great GM is your favorite truck but stop with the crap

on topic its good to see GM investing in these plants, its good for the economy and means GM is doing well

If you commercial snow plow with a ford the front lower ball joints go bad fast ive seen then go in one season. fords sway bar links rattle and the front axle bearings and u joint will go bad. I have been plowing for 19 yrs and i fix all these trucks for them. I only know one guy that plows with a dodge, a 2005 2500 and his ball joints went out after 2 seasons and the truck had bad death wobble and the front axle has to be removed to do them im told. His motor also started knocking at 90k and his dad rebuilt it and i cost him a ton. he hates his truck. Dodge got a very bad rap years ago with their trans going out and burning to ground from trans coolers lines rupturing. the company i plow for until last year would not hire someone with a dodge because they were not reliable. P.S. my ball joints are original at 170k

If you plow with a gm at 90-100k the front wheel bearings will need to be done and inner tie rods every so offen. use timkin bearings and mogg tie rods and they will last even longer.
I will say fords newer front ends do seem better than the older ones and look like they took parts off a semi... but i think its too stiff and beats the ball joints and bearings up to much. also both of these guys had to add 2 leafs to the back to stop it from sagging so much with a trailer on. and both get death wobble if their tires are not rotated reg. (the local cop loves to pull these fords over to scale them). and in the chicago area it can get expensive if your over your plate weight.) even if you not over weight being stopped to be scaled takes a while and can cost u money if your not on the job site working.

That twin i beam was junk and ate tires like crazy
And only little light weight plows are recommended for tundras.
The same one people put on midsize trucks lol
My plow is just shy of 800 lbs
And most people think ford front ends are stronger but go to westerns plow site and look a recommended ballast weight and the fords recommend more that Gm's ifs trucks.
Gm also stated they designed there front ends to hold a 1000lb snow plow. In my opinion fords heavy weight was the best thing they had over gm for plowing a heavy truck wont get pushed around by the snow as much.

SKEETER - too early to tell if aluminum bodies are not being accepted well in the market place. GM took a year before their new trucks started to sell well.

I agree to a point. most people are probally just being cautious,
but some are bias and will never accept it.
My statement comes from the people i know that drive trucks and fords and do not want it.

@Chuck Taylor

GM isn't merging with FCA.

If gm doesn't go to aluminum wonder how long it will take to recoup this 900 million dollar investment just to make the same old thing but just at a different place. Doesn't make sense financially to invest in a new body shop unless there is big changes coming.

will the 2017 ford super duty debut at the state fair of texas

Where's that SKEETER spray at???

chevy's are for guys with small penus.

@BOB so you prefer a guy with a FORD? Bob I'm not saying you're gay,but I bet you would hold one in your mouth until the swelling goes down.

I prefer a hot blonde in a Ford preferable sucking my big cocc as we drive down the road.


It's quite funny I've had quite the opposite experience with plowing. Run 810 Blizzard plows on all and my Fords go 60-100k on ball joints and axle joints before I put a wrench on them. Only had 1 bearing failure before 100k.

I had a 08' 2500 Chevy that ate upper ball joints and tie-rod ends before 34k. At 34k (spring 2015) the frame cracked on both sides behind the the upper a-arms. I'm done with the el caminos. I'll stick with the fords, don't really care if it's stiff as long as the job gets done.

Who ever install the plow on the chevy is a idiot. its well know that if the frame did't get gussets from the factory they should be welded in. gm would even do this for no charge. Also if that 810 has power down thats probably why u ate upper ball joints.
blizzard plow are not very popular in chicago. mostly western and boss. And i have seen fords crack frames also.

@Dave look it up buddy classic chevy owner lies about heir truck.

Dean -

"skeeter your so full of crap, every two years, the dodge and ford front ends are way stronger than the GM IFS."

You need to get caught up on modern half-tons. The GMT900/K2's comes with forged steel control arms. Go take a look at a 2015 F-150. Gone are the forged upper control arms of the 2013's that FoMoCo liked to tout and in their place are wimpy stamped steel control arms. The lower CA's look large and strong but they're oversized to compensate for being thin stamped steel.

Congrats toyour mag keep,tucking via. Your mag.

Please add more road,tests comparison with others.

Amazing number of corroding pick ups in MN & WS, some in as little as 5-8 years. Be interesting if Ford's aluminum bodies will stop this. If they can, it will be a home run! GM will have to answer.

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