WENTZVILLE, Mo. – FOX 2 was at the General Motors Wentzville Assembly Center last week, as the next generation of General Motors midsize trucks rolled off the assembly line.
“We take great pride in the fact people have confidence in us to execute these things,” Lamar Rucker, the plant’s executive director, said. “So, this isn’t just a plant celebration, this is a community celebration.”
The pride felt by the more than 4,000 local employees who worked hard to bring the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon to market is shared by GM’s brass in Detroit.
“The team at Wentzville just did an extraordinary job managing through all those ups and downs,” said Steve Carlisle, GM’s executive vice president and president for North America.
Carlisle lauded the Wentzville workforce for getting these trucks off the line on time, despite a global pandemic and chip shortage.
“Not a lot of plants had the task of tooling up for a completely new product while doing it while they were doing that at the same time and launching with quality,” he said.
That success had United Auto Workers Local 2250 Chairman Dale Averitt eying electric at last week’s launch.
“Put all our energy now to getting some kind of an EV product in here to secure the future for our plant, the city, the county, and the state,” Averitt said.
Does Carlisle see the Wentzville plant as the kind of place that could be part of the company’s transition toward electric vehicles?
“Nothing’s off the table, right? We haven’t worked out all those details into the far future. There will be a point and time when we talk about that,” he said. “I think when you’re a plant like Wentzville, when you have the flexibility to do some many different things at the same time, that’s a really good thing.”
For now, they’re letting the good trucks roll in Wentzville and soaking in high praise from the Motor City.
“It’s well-earned and a reflection of what happens when we get everything working together.” Added Carlisle.