The news out of Missouri today claims General Motors wants to invest big in its Wentzville assembly plant, a 3.7 million square feet facility located just west of St. Louis. The plant is home to the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickups, as well as the aged Chevy Express and GMC Savana commercial vans.

According to local reports, GM reps seeking state incentives are in talks with the governor, with a potential $1 billion investment hanging in the balance.

The initial report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (spotted by Automotive News) didn't provide any details of GM's intentions re: product. Instead, it details a controversial list of incentives aimed at funding job training and retooling that GM will no doubt attempt to extract from Gov. Mike Parson.

The newspaper learned of the potential plant investment via meetings held between Parsons and certain Missouri lawmakers on Wednesday. When asked, denizens of the Capitol building said they didn't know the extent of what GM wanted from their state.

"If GM wants to invest another billion dollars in the plant in my district, I am thrilled to hear that," said Sen. Bob Onder (R-Lake Saint Louis). "But I really didn't hear anything today that would require new legislation or new programs above and beyond what we have."

Wentzville Assembly opened in 1983 and employs over 3,400 hourly workers on three shifts.

"Although we have no announcements or information to share at this time, we appreciate the willingness of state officials in Missouri to work with us on potential opportunities within the state," a GM spokesperson told AN.

NBC affiliate KSDK claims union officials have called for investments in the plant for years as a way of preserving jobs. UAW president, Glenn Kage, currently in Detroit for talks with GM brass, said word of what the automaker intends to do with that $1 billion will likely come out of the meeting.

While the Colorado/Canyon twins are expected to see a design refresh later this year, a full redesign isn't expected until 2022. That leaves the ancient Express and Savana van - heavy-duty offerings which have only seen a couple of front-end refreshes since debuting in 1995. In 2014, GM discontinued the half-ton 1500 version of the Express/Savana, preferring to offer a smaller, badge-engineered Nissan van instead. Chevy's City Express bowed out of the market last year.

Still, volume remains fairly stable, with 2018 being the Express' best sales year since 2008.

With Ford flaunting its continuously improved Transit and Transit Connect, could GM's investment have something to do with its limited (and older than old) van lineup? We'll have to wait and see.

first published by TTAC