Not So Fast: Ft. Wayne GM Officials Say Local Plant's Future Still Bright

By Jeff Neumeyer

July 19, 2011 Updated Jul 19, 2011 at 5:45 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Flint Michigan's good fortune in the General Motors sweepstakes is not necessarily bad news for Fort Wayne.

That was the response Tuesday from officials at the Fort Wayne GM truck plant, one day after word that Flint's truck plant has secured a big influx of GM cash.

This spring, the recovering auto giant has been announcing $2-billion in investments at facilities all across North America.

Monday, GM officials announced Flint Assembly would get a whopping $328-million to produce the company's next generation of heavy-duty pickups.

Fort Wayne Assembly makes heavy-duty pickups too.

A United Auto Workers Vice President said no decisions have yet been made about new investment in the Fort Wayne operation.

So it seems natural that comment would make folks a little nervous in Fort Wayne.

But the plant’s communications manager said there’s no reason to fret.

GM is rolling out announcements one at a time, and won’t divulge details about future investments in advance.

We’re also told Fort Wayne and Flint are not really in direct competition.

Manager Stephanie Jentgen/Ft. Wayne Plant Communications: " Flint produces crew cab pickup trucks and Fort Wayne only produces extended cab and regular cab pickup trucks. So, that's why, just because they received that announcement, which was great for the Flint community, that doesn't preclude us getting part of that business.

The newly elected president of Union Local 2209 in Fort Wayne, Mark Gevaart, says, “We understand that General Motors has more investments to announce. But at this stage, we will decline any comment towards Fort Wayne Assembly plant specifically."

Fort Wayne’s Truck Assembly Plant has had a history of success in the GM family, but for now, management and labor are forced to play the waiting game.




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