Car News:  Oversteer

Here's a Photo Tour of GM's Flint Truck Assembly Plant

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT
Used 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
$26,850
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2019 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Coupe w/ 2LZ
Used 2019 Chevrolet Corvette
$73,900
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4x4 Crew Cab High Country
Used 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
$51,980
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD LT
New 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe
MSRP $59,130
RELATED READING
See all Chevrolet Silverado+1500 articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Karma cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs MAZDA cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Chris O'Neill March 2019

As part of the launch of the new 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD, General Motors invited a bunch of journalists on a tour of the Flint Truck Assembly plant where the new Silverado HD and its GMC Sierra twin are being built. I took a bunch of notes and pictures (where allowed) -- so here's a photographic account of the tour.

It's probably worth noting that the plant was conducting dry runs when our tours took place. I'm not sure if this was pure coincidence or not -- I'm inclined to think it wasn't -- but nonetheless, there's the explanation as to why the trucks themselves are absent from most of these photos.

Flint Assembly was built in 1947. Over the years the plant has been responsible for putting out early first-generation Chevrolet Corvettes, the K5 Blazer and the Suburban, full-size vans, the medium-duty TopKick and Kodiak trucks, light-duty trucks and now the Heavy Duty Sierra and Silverado. The whole plant employs three thousand people and runs three shifts per day, six days per week.

GM Truck Plant assembly line

The first stop on our tour was at the area where the sunroof frames are made. These pieces will find their way into both the heavy-duty and the light-duty trucks, which are built in Fort Wayne, Indiana. You can see sunroof frames sitting on the green carts in the foreground.

GM Truck Assembly plant robots
This area is where the front doors for double cab and crew cab models are made. Directly across from it was the hinge shop area, which attaches hinges for the trucks' doors and hood to the body at the rate of 62 trucks per hour.

Scanbox

This thing is called the Scanbox and is used to determine the quality of metal work. As you can see, it was evaluating a passenger side front door when my tour group passed through.

GM Truck Assembly plant automated carts

Body parts are delivered to the body shop on these automated carts from the nearby Flint Metal Center. The carts follow three routes, the longest of which covers eight-tenths of a mile. 110 different part numbers are transported between the two shops this way at a rate of 22 loads per hour. There are 19 tuggers in total, each of which pulls two trailers.

GM Truck Assembly plant rear tailgates

GM Truck Assembly plant rear tailgates on cart

At the end of the body shop tour, we passed by these racks of tailgates. As a truck body goes through assembly, the tailgates are temporarily fixed to the bed in an upside down position, which helps during the painting process. I thought these images were particularly interesting as you can see all three tailgate styles. In the top image is a basic GMC tailgate. In the foreground of the bottom image is the Chevrolet tailgate, while in the background is a rack of GMC MultiPro tailgates.

The tour then moved over to the paint shop. One of the earlier steps in the paint process is the application of a base layer and an underbody anti-corrosion coat.

GM Truck Assembly plant paint process

From there, the trucks eventually move on to the actual paint area. The plant uses a water-based paint applied with a rotating head for better coverage and consistency. This area can switch between colors from truck to truck without risking overspray.

GM Truck Assembly plant quality check

One of the last steps of the painting process is quality verification. This job is done by independent auditors who do not work for the paint shop, in order to ensure impartiality.

GM Truck Assembly plant paint defect being fixed

Based on the tag hanging in the windshield (it's there, just trust me), paint imperfections had been identified in the truck above -- a brand-new 2020 Silverado HD -- and it was being re-routed back through the plant to have them corrected. It's also worth noting that both 2020 and 2019 model year Silverados are still in production, hence the reason you see both in the images above

Once the paint job is deemed acceptable, the truck is moved to the nearby General Motors Flint Assembly plant to have all of the non-body panel components installed.

Chris O'Neill grew up in the Rust Belt and now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. He worked in the auto industry for awhile, helping Germans design cars for Americans. Follow him on Instagram: @MountainWestCarSpotter.

MORE FROM OVERSTEER:
Here's Why the Koenigsegg Agera RS Is Worth $10 Million
I Bought the Most Unreliable BMW Ever Made
Autotrader Find: 1990 Subaru Legacy With a Landau Roof

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT
Used 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
$26,850
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2019 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Coupe w/ 2LZ
Used 2019 Chevrolet Corvette
$73,900
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4x4 Crew Cab High Country
Used 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
$51,980
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD LT
New 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe
MSRP $59,130
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Here's a Photo Tour of GM's Flint Truck Assembly Plant - Autotrader