General Motors announced Jan. 31 that it will start construction within the month on a $200 million stamping plant in Arlington, Texas, creating about 180 jobs. Some of the jobs will be relocated from GM's Parma Metal Center in Ohio.
The plant will be part of the company’s Arlington manufacturing complex, adjacent to the facility that makes the company's full-sized sport utility vehicles, and is scheduled to start production in 2013. It will produce large stamping components for the next generation of Chevrolet Tahoes, Suburbans, GMC Yukons and Cadillac Escalades.
The company has noted that it is inefficient to make parts in Ohio and Michigan and ship them across the country to Texas. In addition to higher transportation costs, parts can get damaged during the long trip, lowering the quality of finished SUVs.
GM plans to add 180 jobs in Texas when the new stamping facility is finished next year. The Arlington plant now employs about 2,500. When the new stamping plant opens, it will take over fabrication of some parts now made at the company's Parma Metal Center.
Last May, GM said it would invest $331 million in the Texas assembly plant for expansion and to purchase tooling and equipment. GM says it has committed more than $6.9 billion of investments to upgrade or expand operation in 12 states since June 2009, creating or retaining more than 17,600 jobs.
GM spokeswoman Kim Carpenter said that won't mean any job losses in Parma. GM is increasing production at several plants in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana over the next few years, and there should be plenty of work for its larger stamping plants, she said.
"Parma stamping will continue making parts for other GM facilities," Carpenter said. "The Arlington announcement is adding capacity to the entire GM system."
Joe Ashton, vice president of the UAW representing the GM department, said in a statement that the announcement was further evidence that the U.S. auto industry is recovering.
“An important goal for the UAW is to increase the number of manufacturing jobs in the United States, and we are pleased that General Motors has decided to make this investment in Arlington,” he said in the statement.