General Motors plans to invest $1.2 billion in its full-size pickup truck plant in Ft. Wayne, IN – money that will fund construction of a new pre-treat, electro-coat paint operation and sealing facility, and other general assembly functions.
Cathy Clegg, VP for GM North America manufacturing, said in a statement that the OEM’s investment is expected to begin in June will take several years to complete. Full-size truck production schedules will be unaffected by the construction, she stressed.
GM added that its Fort Wayne investments are part of a larger $5.4 billion investment plan for its U.S. facilities over the next three years.
Specific upgrades to GM’s Ft. Wayne plant resulting from the company’s $1.2 billion investment include:
- New pre-treatment facility featuring thin-film paint pretreatment;
- E-coat paint customized to each vehicle style, resulting in better coverage and curability;
- GM-patented radiant tube ovens to improve paint finish while lowering energy use;
- New equipment to accommodate more variations of the truck cab and box being placed on the chassis;
- New “skillet conveyance systems” for instrument panel assembly intended to improve worker ergonomics and product quality.
GM noted it began building light-duty trucks at its Fort Wayne plant in 1986. Today, it is a three-shift operation with approximately 3,800 employees building light- and heavy-duty regular plus double cab full-size pickup models.