At a time when Ford has been criticized for planning a $1.6 billion auto plant investment in Mexico, General Motors apparently has plans to move light-duty pickup production back to the U.S. from south of the border.
A May 20 memo from United Auto Workers Local 598 reports that GM’s Flint Assembly Plant will be taking on pickup production from the company’s plant in Silao, Mexico, according to The Detriot News.
The memo states that the production move will satisfy customers that want more vehicles produced in the U.S. The Flint plant, which currently employs 2,800 workers, will have to add a Saturday shift and may have to hire part-time workers to help with the increased work load next year, according to the memo.
In April, Republican presidential campaign front-runner Donald Trump called Ford’s plans for building a $1.6 billion auto assembly plant in Mexico’s state of San Luis Potosi “an absolute disgrace.”
Trump said that if elected president he will alter the North American Free Trade Agreement so that it will prove financially punitive for U.S. companies that continue to operate under the original 1994 agreement. Trump believes that NAFTA has resulted in heavy job losses in the U.S.
Ford responded to Trump’s criticism by pointing out that it continues to invest heavily in the U.S. The company says that it spends more than 80 percent of its capital in the U.S. and over the next four years it plans on spending $8 billion to $9 billion more.
The UAW appears to be in lock-step with Trump’s criticism of Ford and other companies that turn to low-wage nations like Mexico for auto production and then import those vehicles into the U.S.
“This is a broken system that needs to be fixed,” UAW President Dennis Williams said in a statement published by the Associated Press.