GM to invest $328 million in Flint, Michigan plant

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 18, 2011 11:28 AM

FLINT, Michigan (Reuters) - General Motors Co said on Monday it will invest $328 million in its Flint, Michigan, assembly plant to make the next generation of full-size pickup trucks.

The U.S. automaker said as part of the investment it will create or retain 150 jobs at the plant, which opened in 1947 and employs about 2,050 people.

GM is expected to roll out the next version of its Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups in early 2013.

The investment is part of a plan announced by GM in May to invest $2 billion in 17 U.S. plants.

GM has been criticized by analysts for its 122 days of full-size pickup truck inventory in the United States at the end of June. That was 50 percent higher than the 80 days typically preferred and above the industry's still-hefty average of 99 days. GM has said it will reduce its big pickup inventory to a range of 100 to 110 days by year end.

U.S. sales through June of the Silverado and Sierra were up 3 percent and 1 percent, respectively. The Silverado is the No. 2 selling vehicle in the U.S. market behind Ford Motor Co's F-150 pickup.

GM said last month it would close the Flint plant for two weeks in July to conduct maintenance work and prepare for a change to 2012 model-year production.

In January, GM announced plans to add a third shift of 750 workers at the Flint plant in the third quarter to build heavy-duty versions of the big pickups.

GM shares were down 2.7 percent at $28.95 on Monday morning, compared with a 1.3 percent fall in the S&P 500 Index.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit, editing by Matthew Lewis)