GM to move some truck production to Flint from Mexico

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

General Motors Co. plans next year to move some light-duty pickup production to the Flint Assembly Plant from its plant in Silao, Mexico, according to a memo from UAW Local 598 to membership.

The 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500.

“Pulling this work out of Mexico satisfies our customers that want vehicles built in the United States and allows Silao, which is located on a shipping port, to increase volume of other models that are easily exported around the world,” says a May 20 memo signed by UAW Local 598 shop chairman Eric Welter and UAW Local 598 President Ray Gorney.

The union said the additional work to meet customer demand will require Saturday schedules next year and could lead to adding part-time temporary workers for the plant.

The Flint truck plant employs about 2,800 workers on three shifts, including nearly 2,600 hourly workers.

A GM spokesman said the company is not confirming any production information or changes in the union memo. Officials from UAW Local 598 could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Flint plant builds heavy-duty versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra and light-duty Silverado pickups.

With gas prices relatively low, demand for pickup trucks continues to grow. Through April, sales of the Chevrolet Silverado are up 3.6 percent this year, while GMC Sierra sales are up 13.3 percent.

In August, GM announced plans to invest $877 million for a new body shop and some general assembly area improvements at the Flint plant, GM’s oldest North American assembly plant. The facility opened in 1947 and has produced more than 13 million vehicles. Construction on the 883,000-square-foot body shop started earlier this year and is expected to be finished in 2018. That work will retain jobs but creates no new jobs.

GM also builds Silverado and Sierra pickup trucks at the Fort Wayne Assembly Plant in Roanoke, Indiana.

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