17 posts categorized "Auto industry"


GM to add third shift and 800 jobs at Arlington plant

GM Arlington plant


 General Motors has just announced plans to add a third shift at the Arlington Truck Assembly Plant in 2013 and will begin filling the first of an estimated 800 jobs later this year.

The Arlington plant currently employs about 2,500 hourly and salaried employees -- roughly 2,300 of them on the assembly line -- and operates two production shifts working 50-hours a week and more.

The plant produces GM's top selling  Chevrolet Tahoe and SuburbanGMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade full-sized sport utility vehicles, and built a record 282,000 in 2010. In 2011, the plant produced nearly 270,000 vehicles and GE said demand for the full-size SUVs remains stable.

GM, in a press release, said the third shift will enable Arlington to meet market demand for the current generation of full-size SUVs and provide relief for employees who have worked extensive overtime since the fourth quarter of 2009.

The installation of new tooling and equipment required to build GM’s new line of SUVs will limit vehicle production in 2013. A third shift will provide the plant needed production capacity during this transition time.

GM is already adding to the Arlington plant to add equipment for stamping body parts for the 2014 model vehicles.

- Bob Cox



GM open house and plant tour openings filled

For all of you hoping to reserve a spot to tour the General Motors Arlington plant this week you'll just have to wait until the next opportunity.

The web site to reserve a time to tour the plant stopped working early today and, we're told by a GM spokesperson, that was because all 2,500 tour slots over the three-day period had been filled up. 

GM spokeswoman Donna McLallen said Monday that because of the overwhelming demand from the public to see inside a modern automotive assembly plant the company is working to make arrangements to hold tours on a more regular basis.

For further information about future tours you may email McLallen at: donna.mclallen@gm.com

- Bob Cox




GM offering public tours of Arlington assembly plant

General Motors is offering public tours its Arlington assembly plant for three days this week to see vehicles being produced on the assembly line.

This will be the first public tours since the Super Bowl week 20111, when bad weather and ice forced GM to cancel planned tours.  Tour times are 11:30 to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 7:40 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.

Pre-registration is required and can only be done online at: http://arlington.gmplantnews.com

GM will allow visitors touring the plant during the open house events to bring cameras and take pictures.

Visitors must wear closed-toe shoes. No open-toed, open-heeled shoes or high heels, sandals, crocs or flip flops are allowed in the  manufacturing area.

The GM assembly plant in Arlington began production in January of 1954 and currently employs more than 2,500 people producing GMC Yukon, Chevrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Tahoe, and Cadillac Escalade sport utility vehicles. The plant produces approximately 1,162 vehicles daily.

- Bob Cox


Arlington Cracker Barrel gets electric vehicle charging station

Electric vehicle owners can now recharge both their car and their own batteries at an Arlington Cracker Barrel restaurant.

NRG Energy took the wraps off of four new electric vehicle charging stations in the Dallas-fort Worth area Tuesday, including one at the Cracker Barrel located at 1251 North Watson Road, adjacent to Texas 360 in north Arlington.

Officials of NRG and Cracker Barrel caravanned in electric-powered cars from one site to another to mark the opening of the "eVgocharging stations. Each of the stations, which are available for use only to NRG customers, has a 240 volt charging outlet and a DC charging outlet. The latter "pumps" 350 volts of electricity directly into the battery of compatible vehicles and a 15 minute charge is good for about 50 miles of driving range.

NRG now has six charging stations installed in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, with plans for at least 70. It has installed 11 of a planned 50 in the Houston market.

Customer usage of the charging facilities is picking up a bit faster than expected, said Arun Banskota, president of NRG EV Services division. "We've got people that use them quite a lot, depending on their commute."

Only about 18,000 electric vehicles were sold in the U.S. in 2011, but Banskota said that compares favorably with the 6,000 annual sales rate that hybrids like the Toyota Prius enjoyed the first few years in the market.

Banskota said new studies show that while electric cars have high price tags their operating costs are much lower than conventional gasoline and diesel engine powered vehicles.

The other NRG charging stations opened Tuesday are at Cracker Barrel locations in Burleson, DeSoto and Mesquite.

For information on NRG's eVgo network and charging plans go the company's website.

- Bob Cox




DFW retail auto sales increase more than U.S. in 2011

Retail sales of new cars and light trucks increased 14 percent in Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex in 2011, according to registration data compiled and released Thursday by Freeman Publishers of Dallas. That compares to a 10.2 percent overall increase of the entire U.S. market.

December sales increased about 9 percent in each of the four counties, except Tarrant where sales gained less than 8 percent for the month.

For the full year sales increased 14.6 percent in Tarrant, 13.4 percent in Dallas, 12.6 percent in Collin and 16 percent in Denton, compared to 2010. The retail sales numbers exclude sales to rental car companies and other fleet buyers.

- Bob Cox



Test drive new Fords with gas-sipping EcoBoost engines

Ford will be letting consumers take some of its new vehicles for a spin this weekend in Grapevine.

Beginning Thursday afternoon Ford personnel will be demonstrating and allowing consumers to drive both the Ford Explorer and Ford Edge crossover vehicles powered by the four-cylinder 2.0 liter EcoBoost engine.

With direct fuel injection and turbochargers the EcoBoost improves fuel economy up to 20 percent over a 6-cyl. engine but still has the power needed for hauling and pulling when necessary. A 6-cyl. version of the engine is the leading seller in Ford's F-150 pickup lineup.

The event will be held Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoon at the Grapevine Mills Mall, near the Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th and Last Call by Neiman Marcus, at 3000 Grapevine Mills Parkway.

To register and reserve a spot to drive one the vehicles go to: 


- Bob Cox


Lear Corp. expected to move work to Mexico

Workers at the Lear Corp. plant in Arlington say the company is making preparations to move more work to a facility in Mexico.

The long anticipated move by the company is expected to transfer now done by 36 Arlington plant employees who assemble build seat frames for sport utility vehicles built by the General Motors Arlington truck assembly plant.

Lear officials told leaders of UAW Local 129 as far back as May they were considering moving more of the plant’s work to facilities in Mexico. UAW officials say the company has been unwilling to discuss their reasons with the union or explore ways to change the plant’s costs so that the work isn’t shifted elsewhere.

A Lear spokesman at the company’s Southfield, Mich. headquarters declined to discuss matters in Arlington. “We’re managing a global work force and we don’t talk about things on a plant-by-plant basis,” said Mel Stephens.

The company has also been unwilling to meet with Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck, who said the city would be willing to discuss ways to keep the work at the local plant.

- Bob Cox



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