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Detroit — General Motors Co. will invest $1.5 billion to build its next generation of mid-size pickups, the automaker announced Friday.

A $1 billion investment at GM's Wentzville, Missouri, plant where the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon are built will retain about 4,000 jobs. Another $500 million will be spent on supplier tooling for the new trucks. GM did not disclose when the new Colorados and Canyons will go on sale. 

To prepare for the introductions, the plant's paint shop, body shop and general assembly areas will all receive upgrades, including the installation of new machines, conveyors, controls and tooling. 

“Through this investment, General Motors is making a firm commitment to the state of Missouri, the city of Wentzville and the GM Wentzville team,” GM President Mark Reuss said in a statement. “This is part of our comprehensive strategy to invest in growth areas and strengthen our U.S. manufacturing base. GM sells more pickups than any other automaker and we have aggressive plans to build on our strengths.”

Since GM reintroduced the Colorado and Canyon in 2013, the automaker has sold more than 700,000 in the U.S. 

The Wentzville upgrade was included in a list of plant investments in the new four-year United Auto Workers and GM contract, which GM employees ratified in October.

Other investments on that list include: $3 billion into Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly for electric trucks and vans; $200 million at Warren Technical Center's pre-production operations; and $1 billion into Lansing Delta Township and Spring Hill Assembly in Tennessee for a next-generation midsize SUV.

khall@detroitnews.com

Twitter:@bykaleahall

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