The plant builds large (and profitable) SUVs for GMs Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC brands

The plant builds large (and profitable) SUVs for GM's Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC brands

General Motors said it was spending an additional US$20m at Arlington Assembly to upgrade plant conveyors in preparation for the launch of redesigned full-size SUVs.

The automaker previously spent $1.4bn at the site since 2015 to build a new paint shop and for body shop and general assembly area upgrades.

The new upgrades should be completed next year.

Arlington Assembly is the sole source of the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL and the Cadillac Escalade.

Last year, GM in the United States delivered 282,000 full-size SUVs.

GM has now spent $4.2bn on three US assembly plants – Arlington, Flint, Michigan and Fort Wayne, Indiana – to prepare for the launches of its profitable next generation pickups and SUVs and to increase capacity, further improve build quality and boost operating efficiencies.

More money is going into plants in Moraine, Ohio to expand diesel engine production, and Toledo, Ohio to expand 10-speed transmission output.

Since 2009, GM has spent $23bn on US factories.

Opened in 1954, Arlington employs 4,500. The plant converted from car to truck production in 1997. Arlington Assembly operates on three shifts of production.

Through a series of purchase agreements for wind power, Arlington Assembly runs entirely on wind energy, earning the plant a spot on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Top 100 List of the largest green power users.

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