Because customer demand has never been greater.
America loves trucks, plain and simple. Even throughout the coronavirus pandemic, truck sales have remained strong for all three Detroit automakers. And now General Motors has announced a major investment totaling $76 million in two truck plants so they can build even more units of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. A total of $70 million is being invested at the Tonawanda, New York engine plant and over $6 million into its Parma, Ohio metal stamping plant.
The Tonawanda investment will cover costs to increase capacity on the engine block machining line while Parma will build four new metal assembly cells to accommodate increased production figures. This is obviously great news for employees at both factories; Tonawanda has 1,300 employees and Parma has 1,000.
The former is where a number of engines are built, including the 5.3- and 6.2-liter V8s for not only trucks but also their SUV counterparts, the Chevy Tahoe, GMC Yukon, and the hot-selling Cadillac Escalade. It also builds the 6.6-liter small-block V8 for the HD trucks. Parma processes over 800 tons of steel daily.
"GM continues to invest to strengthen our core business and respond to growing customer demand for our full-size pickups," said Phil Kienle, GM vice president of Manufacturing and Labor Relations. "Our Tonawanda and Parma teams are dedicated to building world-class products for our customers and these investments reflect our confidence in these teams."
Just last month, GM announced plans to reopen its Oshawa, Ontario truck plant in Canada after a two-year closure along with a $1 billion Canadian dollar investment. The plant's reopening, scheduled for January 2022, is also due to overwhelming truck demand.
Both GM trucks are expected to receive a major midcycle refresh for the 2022 model year to better compete against the segment's longtime best-seller, the recently redesigned Ford F-150. A few new features on the GM trucks will reportedly be Trailer Side Blind Zone Alert and an all-digital driver's gauge display.