General Motors announced today that it will invest $1.2 billion over the next several years in its full-size pickup truck plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Construction of the new pre-treat, electro-coat paint operation and sealing facility, expanded body shop, expanded and new material sequencing centers, and upgraded general assembly area is expected to begin in June and take several years to complete. Full-size truck production schedules will be unaffected by the construction, GM said in a statement.
No new jobs are expected to be created with the upgrades. The improvements will increase competitiveness in order to retain the approximately 4,000 jobs currently at the plant, according to GM spokeswoman Stephanie.
The upgrades include:
- New pre-treatment facilitywith thin-film paint pretreatment
- E-coat paint customized to each vehicle style, for improved coverage and curability
- GM-patented radiant tube ovens for improved paint finish and lower energy use
- New equipment that accommodates the many variations of the truck cab and box being placed on the chassis
- New skillet conveyance systems for instrument panel assembly intended to improve worker ergonomics
Fort Wayne Assembly began building light-duty trucks in 1986. Today, it is a three-shift operation, its employees building light- and heavy-duty regular and double cab full-size GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado trucks. Landfill-free since 2011, the plant generated $314.9 million in wages in 2014 and $62.6 million in payroll taxes.
The investments in the Fort Wayne plant are part of the $5.4 billion that GM said April 30 it would invest in U.S. facilities over the next three years.