GM Breaks Ground for Wentzville, MO Plant Expansion

General Motors Co. broke ground this week on a $380 million expansion at its Wentzville, Mo., assembly plant, where the automaker will build the next generation of midsize pickups, a move that will retain or create about 1,260 jobs.

GM has given no details yet on when the plant 500,000-square-foot expansion may be finished or if it will build additional products at the plant, reports. “This is the first of many of what we hope are many good news announcements” at the plant, said GM spokeswoman Stephanie Jentgen.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon attended the groundbreaking and in a news release said the Wentzville plant would have more than 3,000 workers once the new generation of trucks begins production in 2014. The company is eligible for incentives over 10 years provided it meets investment and employment targets.

The Wentzville plant, near St. Louis, currently builds the full-size Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans and has nearly 2,100 salaried and hourly employees.

In October 2011, GM announced the addition of a second shift with about 400 employees at the existing facility, which started early this year. GM North America President Mark Reuss previously told The Detroit News that the redesigned midsize truck will come to the market immediately after the automaker launches all-new versions of its full-size pickups as 2014 models.

Reuss said the midsize pickups may not be called the Chevrolet Colorado as they are now. GM also sells a similar GMC Canyon pickup. GM in the fall announced the job and investment plans at the plant. The company, in its four-year pact with the UAW reached in fall 2011, has agreed to invest $2.5 billion and save or add about 6,400 jobs in the U.S.