The General Motors assembly plant in Flint, Michigan, was first opened in 1947, and is the company’s oldest plant in North America. Truck buyers who are interested in watching their trucks being built have made it a popular destination. GM recently announced plans to invest $877 million in order to make the plant more efficient, and most of the investment will go towards building a new body shop for the assembly plant. This will locate the shop closer to General Motor’s Flint Metal Center, the plant that is responsible for supplying the sheet metal and other parts that are used in the Chevrolet and GMC full-size pickups built in the assembly plant.
The general assembly area inside Flint Assembly will receive a make-over, as there will also be new equipment installed at the plant as well as some retooling. According to Cathy Clegg, GM North America Manufacturing and Labor Relations VP: “This investment will allow us to use a more innovative approach to deliver material between two critical facilities, reducing handling, and the time it takes to ship parts.”
This isn’t the first time in the past few years that Flint Assembly has been the beneficiary of investments. In fact, since 2011, General Motors has invested $1.8 billion in Flint Assembly. Of that, $600 million went to plant upgrades and a new standalone body shop, which is scheduled to open in 2016. Work on the 883,000 square-foot body shop is scheduled to begin in the first half of 2016 with construction completion scheduled for 2018.
Flint Mayor Dayne Walling: “In the last several years, GM’s investments in the city of Flint have topped $2.5 billion, creating hundreds of construction jobs and an economic boost for the community. This investment not only strengthens the ties between GM and the city, it demonstrates that Flint continues to play an important role in the resurgence of manufacturing in Michigan, and the rest of the United States.”
More than 13 million vehicles have been produced in the Flint Assembly plant. Customers that want to watch their heavy-duty Silverado or Sierra being assembled, are treated to what the plant calls “View Builds.” Owners can follow their truck through the assembly and quality inspection processes by UAW Local 596 members. Clegg also stated “While the plant has received numerous awards for initial quality and long-term durability and reliability, our latest investments in the plant will raise the bar in vehicle quality and customer satisfaction.