Ram managed to outsell the Chevrolet Silverado in the first quarter and GM obviously doesn’t want a repeat of that embarrassing performance.
In order to ensure this, the company is investing $24 (£19 / €22) million into their Fort Wayne Assembly plant in Indiana to increase production of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500.
In particular, the company is focusing on crew cab versions of the trucks as GM said combined sales of crew cab models were up 20 percent from a year ago in the first quarter. GM is expecting another “significant increase for the second quarter,” so they’re making the investment to accommodate demand.
The money will be used to improve the plant’s conveyors and other tooling to support increased production. GM said the work is expected to be completed this summer and the latest rounded of investment means they’ve put more than $1.2 billion (£951 million / €1.1 billion) into the plant since 2015.
GM declined to mention if the investment will create any new jobs, but the facility employees approximately 4,231 hourly and 314 salaried workers. The plant also has 40 miles (64 km) of conveyors, so it’s not surprising the company is using the money to upgrade them.
GM CEO Mary Barra, who has been heavily criticized for plant closures, was on hand for the announcement and said “We are building Chevrolet and GMC crew cab pickups at record volume and mix levels to meet customer demand and the $24 million investment will allow us to build even more.” She went on to say “Crew cab sales have been very strong, and we are expanding customer choice with new models, more cab choices and innovative new powertrains.”