GM to invest billions of dollars in U.S. plants: source

Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:42pm EDT
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By Ben Klayman

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors (GM.N: Quote) on Thursday will announce a multibillion-dollar, multiyear investment in several U.S. manufacturing plants in a move to boost production and vehicle quality, a person familiar with the matter said.

GM has scheduled a press conference at its stamping plant in Pontiac, Michigan, to make a "major U.S. manufacturing announcement." A spokesman declined to provide further details.

The largest U.S. automaker is expected to reveal plans to make capital investments in plants and equipment, including body shops and stamping plants, said the person, who asked not to be identified. The investments are expected to create jobs, but it is unclear how many.

The announcement comes as GM and the United Auto Workers union gear up to negotiate a new master contract this fall for GM's roughly 50,000 U.S. hourly workers. UAW leaders have pushed for the Detroit automakers to invest in union-represented factories.

GM has budgeted $9 billion for global capital spending in 2015, up from last year's $7 billion, to pay for vehicle launches and investments in new technology. It has historically spent about two-thirds of its capital outlay in North America and officials have said that would remain true going forward.

The U.S. plants receiving the new investments will not be identified, the source said, but will likely include the Pontiac plant at which the announcement will be made. The plant stamps metal parts used for 20 different vehicles.

Separately, GM is weighing a $1.3 billion investment in its large SUV plant in Arlington, Texas, that would add 589 jobs. City officials in Arlington are expected on Wednesday night to give necessary approvals for the project.

GM has said only that it is looking at investing in the Texas plant to fund upgrades and no decision has been made, but it has told city officials it wants to move fast.   Continued...

General Motors CEO Mary Barra speaks next to the 2016 Chevrolet Volt hybrid during the first press preview day of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan January 12, 2015.  REUTERS/Rebecca Cook