General Motors' midsize trucks has become a bright spot for the company. Originally forecasted to sell around 80,000 this year, the company is now on track to selling near 120,000 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon trucks by the end of year. The two model are also the fastest-selling vehicles this year with the average time a Colorado sat on a dealer lot landing around 27 days. The Canyon was slightly longer with a 37 day average.
But this has caused a supply problem for GM. The Wentzville, Missouri plant where both trucks are built has been pushed to the limits. Currently, the plant has three shifts and also builds models during the weekend. Even workers at the plant have agreed to plan to adjust break times to eliminate a six-minute lull between shifts.
This appears to be not enough and GM is now looking into other measures. Automotive News has learned that GM is looking into outsourcing production of cutaway models of Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana, the other models built at Wentzville, to AM General. This was revealed to workers by a note sent out by GM earlier in the week.
“The truck and van continue strong sales. This potential partnership would free up production capacity and allow the organization to capitalize on our ability to build midsize trucks to further satisfy customer demand,” said the note.
According to a source, cutaway vans account for one-third of total production at Wentzville.
AM General, the folks who brought you the Hummer, has been in the process of expanding its contract manufacturing business. Back in August, the company announced a deal with Mercedes-Benz to build the R-Class crossover that would then be sent over to China.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)