General Motors is boosting production of its highly profitable large SUVs and trucks to a pace that could result in 48,000 to 60,000 additional vehicles for the 2016 model year, in a bid to capitalize on rising demand, sources told Reuters.
Reuters reported that GM’s Arlington, Texas, plant that makes full-size SUVs such as the Cadillac Escalade and Chevrolet Suburban added Saturday overtime shifts beginning on Aug. 1, a GM spokesman confirmed Thursday.
GM is also expected to boost output of pickups, other people familiar with the company’s plans said, but it was not clear how that would be done.
The Arlington plant is capable of making 400 big SUVs per shift, or about 1,200 in a full day’s production, barring any planned or unplanned maintenance, said the sources, who wished to remain anonymous because GM has not announced its plans.
Adding one day a week to production for a full year could result in as many as 60,000 additional vehicles a year, although production is likely to be less because of maintenance downtime or parts shortages, said the sources familiar with GM’s plans.
GM does not disclose profit margins on individual vehicles, but analysts and company executives say the large SUVs and pickups generate profit well above the average for GM’s North American operations, which was a robust 11 percent in the second quarter.
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