GM to invest $76 million in N.Y., Ohio plants for pickups

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General Motors will invest $76 million in two plants in New York and Ohio to meet full-size pickup demand, the automaker said this week.

GM will commit $70 million to its Tonawanda, N.Y., engine plant to increase capacity on the engine block machining line. At the Parma, Ohio, metal stamping plant, the investment will go toward building four metal assembly cells to support increased pickup production volume, GM said in a statement.

“GM continues to invest to strengthen our core business and respond to growing customer demand for our full-size pickups,” Phil Kienle, GM vice president of North America manufacturing and labor relations, said in the statement. “Our Tonawanda and Parma teams are dedicated to building world-class products for our customers and these investments reflect our confidence in these teams.”

The investments will support production at the Oshawa, Ontario, assembly plant, according to a person familiar with the details. GM Canada said it would pledge up to 1.3 billion Canadian dollars ($994 million) in the Oshawa plant to build light-duty and heavy-duty Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups starting in 2022.

In the third quarter, sales of the GMC Sierra full-size pickup rose 2.4 percent to 67,812 vehicles, driven by a gain for heavy-duty models. It was the nameplate’s highest third-quarter volume ever, GM said. Chevrolet Silverado sales fell 5.3 percent to 148,574 vehicles.

The Tonawanda plant, which employs about 1,300, builds V-6 and V-8 engines for the Chevrolet Silverado, Suburban and Tahoe, the GMC Yukon and the Cadillac Escalade. The plant also builds small-block V-8 engines for the heavy-duty Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups.

The Parma Metal Center employs about 1,000 and produces more than 100 million parts per year.

The plant works with small, medium and large transfer press lines, high-speed presses, a cut-to-length shear and GM North America’s largest standalone, multicell, resistance and laser welding metal assembly operations.

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Saurabh Shukla

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