As GM touts investment plans, UAW slams cuts


During and in addition to those visits, the company has announced plans to invest about $2.6 billion and hire more than 2,500 workers at U.S. plants. In May, GM also reportedly met with Missouri Gov. Mike Parson to discuss incentives for a $1 billion investment at the automaker’s assembly plant in Wentzville.

The Indiana investment will include enhancements to conveyors and other tooling to support increased production, specifically of crew cab models. Work is expected to be completed this summer.

GM declined to say how much the improvements will increase production at the plant, which has received $1.2 billion in investments since 2015.

“The team here at Fort Wayne has done an outstanding job helping us satisfy customers throughout this launch,” Barra said in a press release. “Our product ramp-up was very smooth and the quality has been exceptional.”

GM started producing crew cab models of the next-generation, or T1, pickups in July in Fort Wayne, followed by double cab models in October. GM’s plant in Silao, Mexico, came on line to assemble regular cab and crew cab models at the beginning of the year. The pickups started arriving at dealerships in August.

Barra said sales of the crew cab models are “very strong,” but overall sales for both pickups are estimated to be down through the first four months of the year — largely because of the ramp-up and launch preparation of the heavy-duty models. The Automotive News Data Center estimates that U.S. sales through April of the Chevrolet Silverado were down 14 percent from a year earlier, while sales of the GMC Sierra increased 3.1 percent.

GM says combined sales of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab pickups were up 20 percent in the first quarter vs. a year ago. The company predicts another significant increase for the second quarter.

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