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GM to boost production of midsize trucks to meet demand

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

General Motors Co. is adding production time at its Wentzville Assembly Plant in Missouri to help meet demand of the fast selling Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups.

UAW Local 2250 President Van Simpson said the Wentzville plant has been put on a “critical event status” by the company for 90 days beginning this week. The declaration allows the company to relax some rules for overtime and to temporarily run production for six or seven days a week to make more vehicles, Simpson said.

For example, this Saturday and Sunday the plant will run all three shifts, Simpson said.

GM spokesman Bill Grotz confirmed the status for Wentzville, saying GM’s national contract with the UAW temporarily allows GM to “adjust work schedules to meet high demand for our products.”

Grotz said it is a good problem to have.

Simpson said the midsize trucks are staying on dealer lots for a few weeks before they are sold. The push in production over three months could add hundreds of more trucks, he said.

At the end of February, supply of the Colorado was just 23 days, down from 30 at the end of January, and 38 at the end of February for Canyon, down from 51 the month before, according to WardsAuto data provided by LMC Automotive.

The Wentzville plant recently added a third shift. GM re-entered the midsize truck segment last fall with newly designed Colorado and Canyon pickups. In February, Colorado sales hit 6,563 and Canyon sales 2,513.

About 3,700 workers at Wentzville also build full-size Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans. Simpson said the vans the plant is building have been sold.

mburden@detroitnews.com

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