The first of three mammoth stamping presses is up and running at General Motors’ newest stamping facility in Arlington. The $200 million contiguous stamping plant, announced in 2012, adds 180 jobs to GM’s Arlington manufacturing complex and is one of 10 contiguous stamping operations globally that started production in the last five years.
The first Arlington-stamped product was a 2014 Cadillac Escalade on display at the site’s official grand opening on Oct. 14 attended by Tim Lee, executive vice president, global manufacturing and chairman, GM China. “Our stamping team takes GM’s creative designs and makes them a reality, forming metal into shapes that please our customers and define a product’s identity,” Lee said. “They ensure hundreds of metal parts come together to fit snugly, but open and close with ease. And they produce perfectly smooth body panels so our paint shops can apply a pristine coat of paint for our customers.” The new stamping facility will produce large metal parts, such as doors, hoods and side panels, for the next generation of the full-size SUVs. The Arlington plant is the lone source for Chevrolet Tahoes, Suburbans, GMC Yukons and Cadillac Escalades sold globally.
The Arlington plant today receives stampings from several GM locations, some more than 1,000 miles away. The new stamping facility will save about $40 million in logistics costs each year, according to GM. “Arlington Stamping is the latest example in GM’s strategy to improve quality and reduce cost,” Lee said. “The money we save can be reinvested in our products and technologies that add value to our customers.” In January 2012, the city of Arlington approved a 10-year, 90 percent tax abatement for the expansion.
The GM Arlington assembly plant employs over 2,500 workers, most represented by UAW Local 276. An estimated 1,140 SUVs are built there every day. The plant makes the Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon and the Cadillac Escalade vehicles As part of the stamping plant opening ceremony, GM, the GM Foundation and UAW leaders announced $75,000 in contributions to local charities. – Robert Francis