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WENTZVILLE, Mo. – General Motors is investing $1.5 billion to build its next-generation midsize pickup truck at the Wentzville Assembly plant.

On Thursday, the company offered a look at its new Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon trucks.

GM currently employs more than 4,000 people at its Wentzville plant. It’s bringing the next generation of midsize pickup trucks to market and worldwide

“So we’re super proud to build them here in Missouri. Obviously, they build the current generation trucks,” said Nicholas Katcherian, vehicle chief engineer at the plant. “So we know there is a lot of passion around this area and around these vehicles, so we’re really proud to bring them back here again, and looking forward to making as many as we can.”

General Motors claims to sell more pickups than any other automaker and has aggressive plans to build on its strengths. The company is investing $1.5 billion in its midsize pickup truck line, including $1 billion to Wentzville Assembly to support new products.

“Anytime we get to do something like this and rally the local community around the products being built here, that is a tremendous opportunity that we cannot let pass. So yeah, it is Christmas in August,” said Lamar Rucker, Wentzville Assembly executive director.

This investment is expected to retain those 4,000 good-paying U.S. manufacturing jobs at the Wentzville site.

“It’s at the top and gives the plant another extension on life and we’ll have our employees working for many years to come now,” said Dale Averitt, UAW Local 2250.

The all-new generation fleet is expected to hit the market at the beginning of next year.