Thursday, 6 August 2015
GM to build new body shop at Flint Assembly
General Motors is to invest $877 million to build a new body shop for the assembly plant, locating it closer to the Flint Metal Centre, which supplies sheet metal and other parts used in the Chevrolet and GMC full-size pickups produced in the Flint assembly plant.
“This investment will allow us to use a more innovative approach to deliver matew erial between two critical facilities, reducing handling and the time it takes to ship parts,” claims Cathy Clegg, GM North America manufacturing and labour relations vice president.
Since 2011, GM has announced investments topping $1.8 billion for Flint Assembly. This includes $600 million for plant upgrades and a new standalone paint shop that is under construction and slated to open in 2016. Work on the 883,000-square-foot body shop is expected to begin in the first half of 2016, with completion slated for 2018.
“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,” said Flint mayor Dayne Walling. “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.”
Opened in 1947 as part of a post-World War II building boom, GM’s Flint Assembly has produced more than 13 million vehicles. The plant’s “View Builds,” as they are called, allow customers to see their heavy-duty Silverados or heavy-duty Sierra trucks being assembled and roll off the line after a series of quality checks by members of UAW Local 598.
When the new paint shop opens in 2016, trucks will be painted using a wet-coat process that results in a smoother, more durable finish. The new body shop will be constructed north of the Flint Metal Centre, reducing transportation time and handling between facilities.
GM says the announcement completes the $5.4 billion in investments GM and the UAW announced at the end of April. Since June 2009, GM has announced US facility investments of approximately $17.8 billion, including $12.4 billion since the end of the 2011 UAW-GM National Agreement. These investments have created approximately 6,250 new jobs and secured 20,700 other positions. However, there has been no mention of any major new engine programmes.