• The sales of heavy-duty pickups will assist GM in funding its investments in EVs
  • GM continues to push for all-electric vehicles by 2035
  • GM reported a 38% increase in the sales of its heavy-duty pickups last year

General Motors plans to invest more than $1 billion in two of its plants in Flint to kickstart the production of next-generation heavy-duty trucks.

The money will be invested in Flint Assembly and Flint Metal Center for the production of gasoline-burning heavy-duty pickups, according to a statement by the Detroit, Michigan-based automaker.

Around $788 million will go to Flint Assembly, which assembles parts for the Chevrolet Silverado HD, the GMC Sierra HD Denali and GMC Sierra HD. This investment is aimed at upgrading the plant, including the expansion of the body shop and general assembly conveyor, along with setting up new tooling and equipment. The remaining $233 million will be invested in Flint Metal Center for new stamping dies, press refurbishments, and other new equipment.

"These investments reflect our commitment to our loyal truck customers and the efforts of the dedicated employees of Flint Assembly and Flint Metal Center," Gerald Johnson, GM's executive vice president of global manufacturing and sustainability, said in a statement, as per Detroit Free Press.

Both plants located in the Flint manufacturing complex along Bristol Road will generate next-generation heavy-duty GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado pickups powered by internal combustion engines, according to ABC13.

A GM spokesman told CNBC that the project was scheduled to kick off during the fourth quarter of the year. However, the automaker has provided no details regarding the details of the next-generation pickups and prospective timings of release.

The automaker has also not announced any new jobs as part of the investment so far, but more than 5,500 existing positions will remain at the plants.

Considering the high demand for profitable trucks, the sales will assist GM in funding its investments in EVs, as the automaker continues to push for all-electric vehicles by 2035. It has been continuously investing in traditional vehicles like the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra heavy-duty pickups in view of the growing demand and high-profit margins.

Last year, GM reported a 38% increase in the sales of its heavy-duty pickups, amounting to nearly 288,000 trucks sold as compared to the previous year. The heavy-duty Silverado emerged as the best-selling model in its class.

The company is also investing over $1.7 billion in its operations near Flint industries this year. This investment includes $579 million going into Flint Engine Operations for the production of the sixth generation small block V-8 engine and $103.5 million in Davison Road Processing Center for technology improvements.

The development comes ahead of the crucial contract negotiations between all three Detroit automakers, including GM, and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union this summer. The union's contracts with GM, Ford Motor Co., and Stellantis NV are set to expire on Sept. 14. The talks will include decisions on product allocation, which will place a crucial role in shaping the transition to EVs in the automotive industry.

"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," Mike Booth, UAW vice president of the GM department, said in a statement. "It is good to see that GM recognizes the hard work you, the UAW membership, contribute to the success of this company."

Besides GM, Ford and Toyota are also increasingly looking to capitalize on the growing market of pickup trucks, specifically mid-size vehicles. Following the lead of heavy-duty pickups like the Chevrolet Silverado and Toyota Tundra, midsize trucks have become larger, more capable, and pricier and new luxurious and off-road variants enter the market.

Over the past decade, the average price of mid-size pickups has increased 53% from about $28,100 to more than $42,000.

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