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General Motors Co. plans to invest $20 million at its Arlington Assembly plant in Texas to build the next generation of its full-size SUVs expected to go into production by the beginning of 2020.

The automaker builds the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL and the Cadillac Escalade at the 250-acre facility. The automaker sold more than 282,000 full-size SUVs in the U.S. last year as it and other automakers lean more heavily on SUVs to boost profits to pay for investments in expensive gambles on electrification and autonomous vehicles.

"We’ve been building trucks in Texas for more than 20 years, and our additional investment in Arlington Assembly is proof of our commitment and confidence in our Arlington team," said Gerald Johnson, GM executive vice president of global manufacturing, in a statement.

"We are counting on the Arlington team to continue focusing on building the highest quality products possible for our customers while preparations continue for the launch of the next generation of our full-size SUVs."

The Arlington investment is the latest in a $4.2 billion string of plant investments from GM to prepare for new pickups and SUVs. The automaker is in the middle of correcting plant utilization to account for waning U.S. demand for sedans and small cars in favor of trucks and SUVs.

The automaker this spring announced plans to sell its Lordstown Assembly plant to an electric vehicle startup after announcing in November a global restructuring that included production halts at five plants in North America. Most of the employees at those plants have been offered jobs at other GM facilities, though the fate of the plants remains unknown.

GM's Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant, where it builds the tech-packed Cadillac CT6 sedan, is one of the plants in question.

ithibodeau@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Ian_Thibodeau

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