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GM to Invest $100 Million in Plants to Boost Truck Transmission Capacity

GM says demand for the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickups 'continues to be very strong.'
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General Motors  (GM)  said Thursday it will invest a total of $100 million at two of its plants to boost full-size truck transmission capacity amid strong demand for the vehicles.

The company said it will invest $93 million at its Romulus, Mich., propulsion plant and $7 million at its Bedford, Ind., casting operations.

The Romulus plant builds V-6 engines and 10-speed transmissions used in a variety of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles, GM said. The Bedford facility aluminum die casting facility produces transmission casings, converter housings, heads, and small gas engine blocks.

"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,” Phil Kienle, GM vice president, North America Manufacturing and Labor Relations, said in a statement. 

Earlier this week, GM said it was extending production cuts at three North American plants until at least mid-March due to a worldwide semiconductor shortage.

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GM said it was extending the shutdown in Fairfax, Kan., Ingersoll, Ontario, and San Luis Potosi, Mexico. 

Shares of the Detroit automaker were down 3.1% to $53.19 at last check.

Ford also recently said it would cut production of its F-150 pick-up truck at two plants due to a worldwide shortage of computer chips.

Consultant AlixPartners said the global chip shortage could cost automakers $61 billion in lost sales this year.

President Joe Biden is expected to sign an executive order directing a government-wide supply chain review for critical goods in the coming weeks, with the chip shortage a central concern, Bloomberg reported Thursday.

The order will compel a 100-day review led by the National Economic Council and National Security Council focused on semiconductor manufacturing and advanced packaging, critical minerals, medical supplies and high-capacity batteries, such as those used in electric vehicles, Bloomberg said, citing two people familiar with the draft said.