Who Is Competing For GM’s Money?

By Scott Sarvay

December 17, 2010 Updated Dec 17, 2010 at 6:31 PM EST

DETROIT/ FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - An industry analyst believes Fort Wayne is in the driver's seat to getting most if not all of the money for GM’s new work.

Flint, Michigan is believed to be the plant competing with Fort Wayne for the project.

It's the only other U.S. plant where heavy duty pick-up trucks are produced.

Even though Flint is closer to head quarters, a Detroit-area analyst believes the new work would head to Allen County.

Van Conway of nearby Birmingham, Michigan tells Indiana's NewsCenter, there's a more important reason why Flint could take a back seat to Fort Wayne where the new project is concerned.

Conway says, “Fort Wayne has demonstrated they can handle this level of production, and produce the vehicle at cost efficiently, and at the appropriate level of quality. Anywhere else is a risk factor.”

Fort Wayne is responsible for two-thirds of the Chevrolet Silverado Heavy-Duty pick-up trucks assembled each year.

The rest are made in Flint.

The tax abatement does play into this issue but Conway says it's more of a token gesture, but it certainly won’t hurt Fort Wayne's chances.

In actuality we're really talking about a small amount of money for an employer that spends billions of dollars a year making cars.

So what impact will the action taken by Allen County Council members have on GM leaders in choosing what plant gets the new work?

GM representatives have not returned Indiana NewsCenter’s phone calls regarding this issue.

It's believed 12 plants around the country are in the running for the project.

Fort Wayne Assembly is a lot younger than its Flint counterpart. Plus, it's had more renovations.

Conway says, “Maybe Flint can take on the capacity. You have two/ thirds of this very important vehicle being done properly, cost effectively with high level of safety in Fort Wayne. Everything else being equal, they should be in the lead."

So far, GM hasn’t given word when the winner will be announced.

So what factors are in Flint's favor?

History….

Flint is the birth place of General Motors.

Plus, GM leaders have spent billions of dollars over the last few months re-fitting many of their plants around Michigan.

But, Conway believes it's going to come down to a cost factor.

That should help Fort Wayne in the long run because it's newer and already produces most of the Heavy Duty Silverado’s and perhaps most importantly, has more room for more work.




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