General Motors recently announced a $1.4 billion dollar upgrade to its Arlington, Texas assembly plant – the largest plant investment in the US this year.
The upgrade will include a new paint shop, body shop and general assembly areas upgrades.
Since 2011, GM has invested nearly $2 billion dollars in manufacturing improvements at Arlington Assembly, including the launch of the current full-size SUVs, a new stamping plant and the recent announcement.
GM announced a total of $5.4 billion dollars to be invested in U.S. manufacturing over the next three years – approximately $4.5 billion dollars of which have been identified, leaving $900 million dollars to be announced by year’s end.
Since June, 2009, GM has announced US facility investment of approximately $17.8 billion dollars. Approximately $12 billion of that has come since the 2011 UAW-GM National Agreement.
GM states these investments have created about 6,250 new jobs and secured the positions of 20,700 others. For the sake of comparison, the largest employer in Texas is Walmart, with 156,195 employees across 563 locations.
It makes sense to invest in Arlington for a few reasons:
- Full size SUV’s are popular right now, but nothing is forever. Retooling quickly and flexibly gives the plant a guaranteed place in GM Assembly plans for the foreseeable future.
- Texas is conveniently placed relative to the southern border where much NAFTA-derived auto parts investments are based.
- Texas is a right-to-work state, although Arlington Assembly runs under a GM-UAW agreement.
Construction is expected to begin this summer and completion is estimated for 2018. Production schedules for Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban, GMC Yukon/Yukon XL and Cadillac Escalade will be unaffected by construction.