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Arlington's GM Plant To Get $20 Million In Upgrades

GM Plant Arlington
Courtney Collins
KERA news
The Arlington Assembly Plant has 4,500 workers and will get a lot of upgrades with the new investment.

General Motors annouced plans to invest another $20 million into its Arlington assembly plant. The money will upgrade equipment ahead of GM's new SUV launch. 

The $20 million dollars for Arlington Assembly won't create new jobs — and it won't fund pay raises for the 4,500 men and women who work there.

It will upgrade equipment that often runs six or seven days a week; during three different shifts.

Credit Courtney Collins / KERA News
Inside GM's Arlington Assembly Plant

"There's a conveyance system that moves bodies from body shop through our paint shop into our general assembly shop, and those conveyors take a lot of beating, because basically they carry every product we make. Over 350,000 of them a year here," said Gerald Johnson, GM's Executive Vice President of Global Marketing.

Johnson said these upgrades are crucial before the company launches it's new line of full-size SUVs.

"The Tahoe and Yukon and Escalade that we have today, we're going to upgrade those to new products. But we'll still have a Tahoe, a Yukon and an Escalade," he said.

United Auto Workers Local 276 was at the annoucement. To shop chairman Kenny Hines, these upgrades mean stability.

"Job security for the future. It gives us a platform on which to build the new vehicle that not only is good for us, but it's good for the entire community," Hines said.

GM will finish the project sometime next year. No word yet on when the new SUVs will launch.

Courtney Collins has been working as a broadcast journalist since graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2004. Before coming to KERA in 2011, Courtney worked as a reporter for NPR member station WAMU in Washington D.C. While there she covered daily news and reported for the station’s weekly news magazine, Metro Connection.