By Jeff Lamarche
Today’s General Motors is on the precipice of change, leading the auto industry in shaping the future of mobility. Since 2009, GM has announced U.S. facility investments of approximately $17.8 billion, including $12.4 billion since the end of the 2011 UAW-GM National Agreement. These investments have created approximately 6,250 new jobs and secured 20,700 other positions. In 2016, the company earned record financial results, driven in large part by strong retail demand for the full-size trucks built here in Flint.
GM’s Investments in Flint
Since 2009, GM has invested more than $2.8 billion in its Flint facilities, playing an important role in the resurgence of manufacturing in Michigan:
Flint Assembly Body Shop
In 2016, GM announced an $877 million investment to build a new 883,000-square-foot body shop for the assembly plant, locating it closer to the Flint Metal Center, which supplies sheet metal and other parts used in the Chevrolet and GMC full-size pickups produced in the assembly plant. The investment also covers improvements to the general assembly area inside Flint Assembly, as well as retooling and the installation of new equipment at the plant. This investment will allow a more innovative approach to deliver material between two critical facilities, reducing handling and the time it takes to ship parts. The project is slated for completion in early 2019.
Flint Assembly Paint Shop
In early 2016, Flint Assembly opened its new $600 million paint shop. Trucks are painted using a wet-coat process that results in a smoother, more durable finish. It also reduces the plant’s environmental footprint, providing additional floor space and reducing the energy needed for heating and cooling.
- GM announced a several million-dollar investment in Durant-Dort Factory One. The factory will be converted into an archive and research center slated to open in the summer of 2017.
- $263 million was invested in Flint Engine Operations for a new engine line.
- GM invested $7.5 million in Flint Assembly to update the compressed air system and convert from steam heat to natural gas.
- $215 million was invested in Flint Engine Operations for a new, small Ecotec gasoline engine.
- $7 million was invested in Flint Engine Operations to build two office buildings to serve both engine units.
- $84 million was invested in Flint Engine Operations to expand production of 1.4L engines.
- GM invested $328 million in Flint Assembly for its next generation full-size truck.
- $138.3 million was invested in Flint Engine Operations to expand production of 1.4L engines.
- GM invested $6.5 million in Flint Assembly for additional Light-Duty production and insourcing of kitting and sequencing work.
- $21 million was invested in Flint Assembly to relocate the Light-Duty truck from Mexico to Flint.
- GM invested $250 million in Flint Engine Operations to build 1.4L engines.
These investments have garnered GM’s Flint facilities numerous awards for initial quality and long-term durability and reliability, including Motor Trend Truck of the Year (Chevrolet Silverado HD), J.D. Power Best in Segment (Chevrolet Silverado Heavy Duty Classic) and WARDS 10 Best Engines in the World (1.5L DOHC 4-cyl., powering the Chevrolet Cruze and Volt).
GM is committed to making Flint an even better community in which to work, live and grow. Employee, GM and GM Foundation donations in the Flint area regularly top $1 million a year.
In the aftermath of the Flint water crisis, GM and the UAW donated $3 million to the United Way of Genesee County to support the community programs for children affected by exposure to lead. The GM Foundation donated $50,000 to the United Way to purchase water filters for residents and local schools immediately following City of Flint notification of the lead issue.
In 2015, GM employee contributions and GM matching funds for the United Way of Genesee County annual campaign totaled more than $741,000. GM Foundation donated $2 million for the Kettering University GM Mobility Research Center, which includes a 3.25-acre test pad and outdoor lab space to test and develop driverless car systems. Also in 2015, GM announced a donation of $2 million to Kettering to create a powertrain lab and the GM Foundation committed $2 million by 2019 for the creation of an automotive proving ground for Kettering students.
The Future is Bright
In 2016, nearly 200,000 trucks rolled off the line at GM Flint Assembly. The future of GM is bright and the company’s confidence in its Flint operations is evident. In the last several years, GM’s investments in the city of Flint have created hundreds of construction jobs and an economic boost for the community.
About GM Flint Manufacturing
GM operates four manufacturing facilities in Flint: Flint Assembly, Flint Engine Operations, Flint Metal Center and Flint Tool & Die, with more than 7,200 employees. Flint Assembly produces the Chevrolet Silverado HD and LD, as well as the GMC Sierra HD pick-up trucks.
About the Author
Jeff Lamarche is Plant Manager, GM Flint Assembly. Before taking on his role in Flint in 2015, Jeff was the plant manager of GM Bowling Green Corvette Assembly. He has been with GM since 1981 and has held assignments in California, Indiana, Kansas, New Jersey and Mexico. Jeff holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Kettering University and a Master of Business Administration from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California. He currently serves on the board of directors for the United Way of Genesee County and is the organization’s 2017 campaign chair.