And it's barely hitting dealerships this week.
It seems as if nothing can put a lid on America’s appetite for trucks, not even a slowdown in car demand across the broader automotive market. And while full-size trucks like the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Ford F-150, and Ram 1500 are the Big Three’s bread and butter, the sales race between heavy duty trucks like the Silverado HD, Ram Heavy Duty, and F-250 SuperDuty is just as fierce.
And just like the full-size truck segment, demand for heavy-duty trucks is going up, meaning General Motors has been having trouble keeping up the supply side of the equation. That’s why the automaker has just announced that it’s making a sizable $150 million investment into its Flint Assembly facility, where production of the all-new Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD is underway.
This investment follows a $24 million investment GM made into its Fort Wayne, Indiana truck plant last month in order to bolster production of the already-released Silverado and Sierra 1500. The fact GM’s heavy-duty production line got a larger investment is an indication of how seriously the automaker is taking the heavy-duty truck war, which it’s hoping to get a leg-up in as brand-new 2020 Silverado HD and Sierra HDs are shipped to dealerships this week to fight relatively fresh offerings from Ram and Ford.
As was the case with GM’s investment in the Fort Wayne plant, the cash slated for the Flint assembly plant is all going towards increasing output by buying more conveyors and tooling as well as hiring 1,000 additional workers.
The $150 million cash infusion brings GM’s total Flint investment to $1.6 billion since 2013, which will allow GM to produce 40,000 additional HD Silverados and Sierras annually, with that number including more crew cab models and diesels.
"We have tremendous opportunities to grow our heavy-duty pickup business, because we’ve invested in capability, performance, innovation and capacity,” said Mark Reuss, GM president. "Our all-new Chevrolet and GMC HD pickups are the toughest, strongest, most capable heavy-duty pickups we’ve ever brought to market, and our Flint team is up to the challenge to build world-class quality products to drive the growth.”