ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge
FLINT, Mich. — General Motors is spending $328 million to update a factory in Flint, Mich., where it will build the next generation of full-size pickups.
The investment will pay for equipment to build the new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks, which are due in showrooms early in 2013.
The investment is part of $2 billion GM is spending to create or retain 4,000 jobs in eight states over the next 18 months.
At the Flint Assembly Plant, it will add about 150 jobs, said Dana Rouse, bargaining chairman for the United Auto Workers union local at the plant.
The plant will also hire 750 laid-off auto workers for an additional shift. The shift is needed to meet higher demand for heavy-duty versions of pickups. Sales of those trucks have continued to flourish even though overall pickup demand has waned.
The Flint plant currently employs 2,047 people and made 115,000 trucks last year.
GM U.S. pickup truck sales rose about 13 percent through June compared with a year earlier, about the same increase as the overall U.S. market.
GM would not say if it plans to make a similar investment in its other U.S. pickup truck plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Cathy Clegg, vice president for labor relations, said in Flint that the company has more investments to announce.
GM also makes pickups Silao, Mexico.
Separately, GM will start negotiations with the UAW on a new national contract on July 27. Both sides said at the Flint announcement that they want to work together to fairly pay employees yet keep company costs in check.