General Motors has just announced its plans to invest $1.4 billion into its Arlington Assembly Plant in Texas, which produces every Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade for the automaker. The investment is the largest of its kind from GM this year and will fund additions and upgrades to several key areas of the plant.

Arlington will receive major upgrades in its paint shop, body shop, and general assembly area. Ground will be broken this summer and construction is expected to last roughly three years. Daily operations at the plant will not be hindered by the construction and production of the full-sized SUVs will continue at its current pace.

Combined with its past investments since 2011, GM has poured nearly $2 billion into the Arlington Assembly Plant –making it one of the most advanced SUV assembly plants in the U.S.

Though GM did not make any comments on its future products, these upgrades are likely in preparation for the next mid-cycle refresh of the SUVs, which will probably come by 2018. Expect updates with exterior design, interior trim work, new colors and optional equipment, and the possible implementation of the 10-speed automatic transmission GM has been co-developing with Ford.

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Why it matters

General Motors makes a lot of money from its full-size, body-on-frame SUVs. These hot-sellers still garner attention from luxury buyers thanks to their posh designs, powerful engines, impressive towing prowess, and level as a status symbol. From the lowly Chevy Tahoe working the graveyard shift as a police interceptor to the decked-out Escalade filling a slot in a multi-car garage inside a regal mansion, the GM SUVs hold a big place in America’s automotive heart.

Keeping these SUVs current and competitive is big business for GM, hence this rather sizeable investment in their assembly plant.

GM Invests $1.4 Billion To Upgrade Arlington Plant Exterior Brochure - Marketing
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Source: General Motors

Press Release

In its largest single plant investment in the U.S. this year, General Motors announced today $1.4 billion for a range of improvements to its Arlington Assembly Plant to more competitively produce high-quality full-size SUVs.

The investment allows the plant to be reconfigured with a new paint shop, body shop and general assembly area upgrades. Construction is expected to begin this summer and take approximately three years to complete. Production schedules for Chevrolet Tahoes and Suburbans, GMC Yukons and Yukon XLs and Cadillac Escalades will be unaffected by the construction.

“This super-sized investment reflects GM’s commitment to our full-size SUV customers who expect nothing but the absolute best from us and their vehicles,” said Cathy Clegg, GM North America Manufacturing and Labor Relations vice president. “Today’s investment will contribute to Arlington Assembly’s winning tradition marked by strong customer focus, innovative thinking and teamwork.”

Since 2011, GM has invested nearly $2 billion in manufacturing improvements at Arlington Assembly including today’s announcement, the launch of the current full-size SUVs and a new stamping plant.

“I have seen first-hand the success that is possible for a city when GM supports the communities where they work and live,” said Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams. “The city of Arlington has benefited tremendously from the strong business and foundational support from GM. This new investment in Arlington solidifies its continued stewardship and commitment to our community.”

This has been a monumental year for the more than 60-year-old assembly plant. Arlington Assembly celebrated its 10 millionth vehicle build, hosted GM’s Board of Directors and provided $100,000 in GM Foundation grants to local community organizations. Meanwhile, the UAW-GM team continues to work regular overtime in the only GM plant to make award-winning full-size SUVs for Chevrolet, GMC and Cadillac customers globally.

“By working together, the UAW and GM are making a difference in communities across the United States,” said UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada, who leads the union’s GM Department. “These investments represent the power of our collaboration to create jobs and improve competitiveness, quality and our manufacturing base in this country.”

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