GM Boosts Transmission Production with $100 Million Investment in Michigan and Indiana Plants

By James White Friday, February 12, 2021

In a recent press release, General Motors (GM) announced that the massive automotive business is investing $100 million into the company’s Romulus, Michigan propulsion plant and Bedford, Indiana, die-casting plant. In an effort by the car company to accelerate business production of its full-size truck 10-speed automatic transmissions. Furthermore, $93 million will be spent on machining capabilities in Michigan and $7 million on die casting capabilities in the Bedford GM plant.

“Demand for our Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickups continues to be very strong, and we are taking action to increase the availability of our trucks for our dealers and customers,” said Vice President of GM North America Manufacturing and Labor Relations, Phil Kienle. “We appreciate the commitment and hard work our teams display every day at work in Romulus and Bedford, and these investments reflect the importance of their efforts.”

General Motors of Canada head office.

GM Invests in Its Profitable Pickups

Though the pandemic slowed vehicle production at GM and other car companies last year, in addition to creating a crippling shortage of semiconductors for many automotive businesses, including Ford Motor Company, Volkswagen, and Honda, GM reported a strong Q4 finish for the difficult year.

Full-size pickup deliveries totaled 839,691 for the automotive giant, which the car company attributes to the success of its popular Silverado and Sierra models. Retail sales for GM started to recover in May, and reportedly business was more or less back to normal levels by Q4 2020. In fact, GM reported that total quarterly sales were up 5% year-over-year (YoY), stating that the company “had its best fourth quarter retail sales since 2007.” Vehicle deliveries also increased by 12% YoY for the quarter.

Despite the successful Q4 numbers, total yearly deliveries for the auto company declined by 12% YoY, as the impacts of the quarantine became apparent. Still, the automotive business is optimistic about the coming fiscal year.

“We look forward to an inflection point for the U.S. economy in spring,” said GM Chief Economist Elaine Buckberg. “Widening vaccination rates and warmer weather should enable consumers and businesses to return to a more normal range of activities, lifting the job market, consumer sentiment and auto demand.”

Automotive Business Recovers as Companies Focus on the Future

GM did not produce losses from the last fiscal year alone. Competing companies, including Ford, experienced similar trends. According to a financial report from the business, Ford’s total vehicle sales in Q4 declined by 9.8% compared to 2019.

“Fourth quarter represented an inflection point at Ford in our transition from cars to a much greater focus on iconic trucks, SUVs and electric vehicles to better serve our customers,” said, vice president of Ford Sales US and Canada. “We began to see our strongest evidence of this in December with retail sales up 5.3 percent with the launch of our new F-150, Bronco Sport and Mustang Mach-E. We are well positioned to see the benefits of our focused efforts throughout 2021.”

About the Author

Headshot of James White

James White is a Michigan State University graduate with a BS in Environmental Biology. He is interested in reporting emerging trends in technology, especially with regard to alternative energy and environmental conservation.

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