GM Will Build Next-Gen Pickup in MO, Reopen Spring Hill Plant

General Motors has said it will build a next-generation mid-sized pickup in Missouri. As part of its agreement with the UAW it also said that it will reopen the Saturn assembly plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee to build two new mid-sized vehicles there also.

GM will retain or create 6,400 jobs as part of its product and plant investments.

Plans to invest $380 million in GM’s Wentzville, MO plant were summarized as part of the labor pact released by the UAW. In addition to the all-new pickups, Wentzville will continue to build full-sized vans for Chevrolet and GMC. GM’s assembly plant in Shreveport, LA, where GM’s existing mid-sized pickups are now built is scheduled to close in 2012 and an assembly plant in Janesville, WI will not be in operation.

GM is not giving out details about the pickups, but it is possible that these trucks will be new generations if tge Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon.

Small pickups have traditionally not sold well in America. Ford is expected to discontinue the compact Ranger this year. And Chrysler is not replacing its Ram Dakota. As big pickups gain in fuel economy and become less expensive, smaller pickups will be a harder sell.

GM's assembly plant in Spring Hill, TN, which was put on standby in 2009, is slated to get two mid-size vehicles. These vehicles, once scheduled for Mexico, will now be built in Tennessee. The Spring Hill reopening will create 1,700 jobs and invest $419 million in the two projects. Insiders have noted that the plant could be used to create more supply of the popular Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain crossover vehicles, which are in high demand.

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