Trucks & SUVs

The Chevy Silverado is Putting Americans Back on Their Feet

After the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak affected millions of Americans, including those in auto plants, General Motors is now calling up workers who were laid-off to help provide income while building more Chevy Silverado models.

Chevy Silverado plants are reopening

GM needs more workers to meet its truck production numbers. Production of the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra was primarily affected at their largest plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Now they need to build as many 2021 Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierra trucks as possible!

The assembly line at the General Motors Flint Assembly Plant where the new 2020 Chevy Silverado HD is being built
The assembly line at the General Motors Flint Assembly Plant where the new 2020 Chevy Silverado HD is being built | Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

After being shut down for two months to protect workers, union leaders are being told that laid-off workers are being called to return, and new workers are needed as well. Unions have also been notified of possible worker transfers to help build the most popular trucks.

  • The Fort Wayne plant in Indiana will reportedly receive 318 workers first to help build the GMC Yukon and Chevy Silverado.
  • Flint, Michigan, needs an additional 100 workers to help build the Chevrolet Silverado and heavy-duty GMC Sierra.
  • Arlington, Texas, will also need additional workers to help build the 2021 Chevy Suburban and 2021 GMC Yukon.

Chevrolet needs to compete in the truck wars

As a result of COVID-19, people seemed to buy up all the trucks and SUVs they could, creating a national shortage. After the reveal of the new F-Series Ford F-150 trucks, Ram and GM need to up production numbers to compete.

2021 Chevrolet Silverado Realtree Edition parked in snow
2021 Chevrolet Silverado Realtree Edition | Chevrolet

However, it will be months before new Ford vehicles hit the dealership lots, creating demand for other truck brands after COVD-19 shutdowns. Automakers are attempting to fill in sales for depleted stock as second-quarter projections show that demand for everything but General Motors trucks and SUVs have decreased. Chevrolet is playing catch up by attempting only to build and sell what people want.

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But union transfers could be difficult and often require negotiations. Many autoworkers want to return to their home cities to work in their original plants once work becomes available. They also don’t want to stray far from home or would rather retire.

2020 GMC Sierra AT4 off-roading in the woods
2020 GMC Sierra AT4 | GMC

Workers from the Hamtramck plant in Detroit may want to go to Flint, and workers from the Spring Hill plant in Tennessee may prefer to work in the Indiana or Texas locations. Also, if employees have enough time to retire, they often choose to do so instead of moving. This is part of the reason why GM needs to create more jobs.

Will it be safe to return to GM plants?

For good reasons, workers are a little hesitant to return to work due to fears of catching COVID-19, making GM challenging to return to pre-production levels. Some workers fear that returning to work would put their family members at risk, and others have compromised immune systems.

2020 Chevrolet Colorado off-roading on dirt road  ZR2 off-roading in dirt
2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 | Chevrolet

These are valid concerns, as even with new safety protocols put in place, such as wearing masks, working between barriers, and new sanitation techniques haven’t entirely prevented COVID-19 outbreaks.

As a result, General Motors has decided to temporarily reduce the production of 2021 Chevy Colorado and 2021 GMC Canyon Trucks in Wentzville, Missouri. The output of these mid-size trucks will be reduced to only two shifts.

2019 GMC Canyon driving down the road
2019 GMC Canyon | GM

Mid-size trucks are becoming less popular than full-size options, but the plant was having difficulty finding enough workers to run three shifts efficiently. Smaller trucks are still popular, but nowhere near as popular as the full-sized options.