As we first reported earlier this week, GM is now guaranteeing drivers that its most popular gas-powered trucks and large SUVs will be around “for years to come.” While GM is still racing to go all-electric eventually, it is now investing $500 million to upgrade and update its Arlington, Texas, plant that builds its profitable Cadillac Escalades, Chevrolet Tahoes, GMC Yukons and Suburbans.
"We are announcing plans for a significant investment in Arlington to strengthen our industry-leading full-size SUV business,” said Gerald Johnson, executive vice president, Global Manufacturing and Sustainability. “Preparing the plant to produce future ICE full-size SUVs reflects our commitment to our valued customers and the efforts of the dedicated Arlington Assembly employees, who have been breaking production records this year.”
Huge Investments in Gas-Powered Trucks and SUVs
The Arlington investment follows the announcement earlier this week that GM is investing over $1 billion in its Flint, MI, facilities that produce Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra Heavy Duty Trucks.The Arlington investment will enable the company to strengthen its industry-leading full-size SUV business. GM is not yet releasing any production details about the SUVs or the plant’s future.
In the company’s release about the investment, it says Arlington Assembly will receive new tooling and equipment in its stamping, body shop and general assembly areas. “It also highlights the company’s commitment to continue providing customers with a strong portfolio of ICE vehicles for years to come.” GM used very similar wording in the release about the truck plant improvements.
The Arlington Assembly Plant builds GM’s entire line of full-size SUVs: Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, and Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV and Escalade-V. Large SUVs exploded in popularity during the pandemic as families invested their money in being comfortable closer to home. The most popular models are still hard to get, with few vehicles lingering on dealer lots. GM leads in large SUV sales and has for nearly fifty years.
The Chevrolet Tahoe was the best-selling full-size SUV in 2022. The Cadillac Escalade led the full-size luxury SUV segment for the ninth straight year in the U.S. The GMC Yukon also continues to grow its market share.
The Investment Guarantees Future Texas Jobs
These investments come just as the Detroit Three automakers are heading into what are expected to be contentious contract talks with the UAW. The UAW made the same exact statement about both the Michigan and Texas announcements.
"When business is booming as it has been for the past decade — due to the hard work of UAW members — the company should continue to invest in its workforce,” said Mike Booth, UAW vice president, GM department. “It is good to see that GM recognizes the hard work you, the UAW membership, contribute to the success of this company. We are proud that UAW-GM members will continue to build quality, union-made products here in the USA."
GM has announced nearly $2 billion in investments for Arlington Assembly since 2013.
“For more than half a century, Arlington Assembly has played an integral role in the economic success of the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metroplex,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott. “General Motors’ over half-a-billion-dollar investment in their North Texas assembly plant will strengthen Texas’ position as a global manufacturing leader and continue creating good-paying jobs for generations of Texans. I thank General Motors for continuing to invest in our state’s diverse, highly skilled workforce and look forward to maintaining the strong partnership between this great company and the State of Texas.”
Mary Conway is a professional automotive journalist and has decades of experience specializing in automotive news analysis. She covered the Detroit Three for more than twenty years for the ABC affiliate, in Detroit. Her affection for the Motor City comes naturally. Her father ran a gas station while Mary was growing up, in Wisconsin.
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