Flint — General Motors Co. is investing $150 million at Flint Assembly in a move to boost production of the automaker's profit-rich heavy-duty pickup trucks.

Flint's production will increase by 40,000 units and improvements to the line will be completed in the first half of 2020, GM President Mark Reuss said.

The investment in heavy-duty production comes two weeks after GM said it would invest $24 million at its Fort Wayne truck plant to increase production of full-size trucks.

Flint has "been running flat-out for five years straight building as many trucks as we could, trying to meet demand," Reuss said "But we were constrained. We think our added capacity can help us take a bite out of the competition ... we have a great opportunity to grow both retail and commercial business."

GM said in February it would add 1,000 jobs at the Flint plant to aid in the rollout of the all-new 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD trucks. 

“The over $150 million investment in Flint rewards GM’s production and skilled trades workers for the quality full-size pickups they produce," UAW GM Vice President Terry Dittes said in a statement. “Under the direction of Director Gerald Kariem of UAW Region 1D, Flint GM workers in the past year have secured 1,000 additional jobs which reflect the hard work of UAW members as they build heavy-duty Chevy and GMC pickup trucks.”

Wednesday's investment announcement is the latest in a series of similar manufacturing commitments GM has made this year as the automaker prepares to renegotiate its contract with the United Auto Workers Union this fall.

GM is heavily investing in its existing plants even as it executes a sweeping restructuring that includes stopping production at five North American plants, including Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, Lordstown Assembly, Warren Transmission and Baltimore Operations.

Weeks after GM's Lordstown Assembly plant in northeast Ohio stopped building the Chevrolet Cruze, the automaker said it would invest $300 million to build a new electric vehicle and add 400 jobs at Orion Assembly. And earlier this month GM said it would create 450 new jobs at three of its Ohio plants.

"Those capacity investments, you try and make those pay, and that’s why we put this kind of money into Flint — we want to make this pay for a long time," Reuss told reporters after the Wednesday announcement. "At the same time, you've gotta be agile enough to reinvest in where you think success is going to be, but you don’t want to over-invest in places where the market is dwindling or has gone away. Some of those unallocated plants are part of those decisions."

GM has said it has job opportunities for most of the 2,800 affected hourly workers at the idled plants. So far, the automaker says about 1,350 workers from its unallocated plants have accepted transfers to other GM-UAW plants.

Twitter: @NoraNaughton

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