May 2, 2019 / 9:35 PM / 4 months ago

GM considers investing $1 billion in its Missouri plant, state officials say

FILE PHOTO: The GM logo is seen at the General Motors plant in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, January 22, 2019. REUTERS/Roosevelt Cassio

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - General Motors Co is considering a $1 billion investment at its Missouri assembly plant where it builds vans and trucks, state officials said on Thursday.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that GM, in a closed-door meeting, had outlined a plan to invest in the plant and add jobs.

Parson told the newspaper that GM is seeking a package of state incentives that would need approval from the legislature before committing to the project to expand its Wentzville plant, which builds the midsize Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickup trucks, Chevrolet Express Cargo van and GMC Savana full-size van.

State Senator Bob Onder in a Twitter post praised the plan. “I am excited that @GM is considering investing $1 billion dollars in our Wentzville Community! This would extend a decades long relationship between this great company and the great people of St. Charles County,” he wrote

GM declined to confirm the investment, but said in a statement it appreciated “the willingness of state officials in Missouri to work with us on potential opportunities within the state.”

There has been speculation GM may build a new mid-size body-on-frame SUV based off the Canyon and Colorado chassis. Automotive News reported in 2016 that industry officials believed GM was considering the plan to complete with Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep brand.

GM has come under criticism in Washington after it announced in November plans to idle five North American plants and cut up to 15,000 jobs. Since then, GM has announced some new U.S. investments.

GM said in March it planned to invest $1.7 billion in its U.S. plants, adding 700 new jobs, including $300 million at its Orion assembly plant in suburban Detroit. It announced last week that it will add a second shift at its Bowling Green, Kentucky, assembly plant and add 400 jobs where it builds the Chevrolet Corvette.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Leslie Adler

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