The entire industry took a major hit during 2020 thanks to the arrival of COVID-19. Despite this, the demand for pickup trucks has remained surprisingly high. So much so that GM just had to invest $76 million into the production of the 2021 Chevy Silverado and 2021 GMC Sierra. According to Motor1, most of the money is going into the manufacturing of engines in the company’s New York factory.
The 2021 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra are selling like hot cakes
While the investment of $76 million is quite sizable, GM plans to focus its investment to target specific production plants. $70 million is going toward the plant that develops the engines for the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra, says Motor1. The plant reportedly builds the naturally aspirated 4.3-liter V6, 5.3-liter V8, and 6.2-liter V8. As you’d expect, these are some of the most popular engine options for both the Chevy and the GMC.
This factory engine also produces the engines for the heavy-duty variants of the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra. The engine in question is the 6.6-liter V8 gas engine. Surprisingly there is no mention of an investment for the Ohio factory that builds the diesel-powered heavy-duty Duramax engines. According to GM, the influx of cash will help to increase the capacity of engine block machining. As a result, more Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks should become available shortly.
Lots of trucks means lots of steel
The remaining $6 million of GM’s investment goes toward the steel that makes up both the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra. According to GM, it’s Parma Metal Center processes over 800 tons of steel per day. This steel is then turned into up to 100 million parts per year. The influx of cash will reportedly pay for constructing four new metal assembly cells. Since the steel parts will be manufactured much faster, it should increase the overall production timeline.
Aside from just investments, back in May of this year, we saw GM increasing its production output with three separate work shifts. As a result, the factories began producing about as many trucks as possible to meet this increased demand.
How many trucks has GM sold this year?
Both the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra seem to defy the effects of the global pandemic. According to CarSalesBase, Chevy managed to sell 415,740 Silverado trucks during the first three quarters of 2020. This marks a one percent increase over the same period in 2019. Similarly, the GMC Sierra managed a decent increase despite COVID-19. During the first three quarters of 2020, GMC sold 174,645 Sierra trucks. This marks an increase of seven percent over the same time period in 2019. What makes these figures even more impressive is the fact that other trucks suffered significantly.
The Chevy Silverado’s greatest competitor, the Ford F-Series truck, saw a decrease in sales of 11 percent. The Ram trucks don’t fall far behind with a decrease of 13 percent. Not even the robust Toyota Tundra was saved from the sales dip, registering a loss of 11 percent. However, the worst of all was the Nissan Titan, which suffered a loss of 24 percent.