General Motors says it will create more than 850 new jobs in Arlington, some of which will replace work currently being done by GM’s suppliers outside the United States.
The automaker announced plans Friday to open a “supplier park” across the highway from its Arlington plant, which makes the Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban, GMC Yukon XL and Cadillac Escalade.
The facility on the former Six Flags mall site will include two industrial manufacturing and warehouse buildings spanning more than 1.2 million square feet. The supplier park, intended to support future vehicle production at the Arlington plant, is expected to open in about nine months.
The move is “a dream come true” for Arlington’s economy, Mayor Jeff Williams said.
“It enables us to redevelop a piece of property that was no longer economically viable,” he said about the former Six Flags mall, which was sold in 2012 and razed last year. In addition to creating jobs, the deal cements the city’s partnership with GM, Williams said.
Some 600 of the new jobs would replace work that would otherwise be done outside the country, said Steve Kiefer, GM’s senior vice president of global purchasing and supply chain.
Nearly a third of the parts used at the GM Arlington Assembly Plant come from outside the U.S., mostly Mexico and Canada, company executives have said in the past.
Kiefer said bringing suppliers closer to GM’s plants has reduced costs by more than $1 billion over the past four years.
International Automotive Components Group, a GM supplier, will bring operations to the new logistics center, CEO Steve Miller said. The Arlington location will be one of its flagship manufacturing operations.
Workers will produce and assemble “essentially the entire vehicle interior,” including the instrument panel, the complete cockpit, the center console, door panels, overhead systems, flooring and acoustics, Miller said. Those parts would then be delivered in sequence to the GM assembly plant on the other side of the highway.
GM employs more than 4,200 workers at its Arlington plant and about 9,000 across Texas statewide, Kiefer said.
The Arlington plant opened in 1954, when it produced the Pontiac Chieftain. Since then, it has produced more than 10 million vehicles.
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