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Auto Assembly Plants

Most of the information presented here was gathered in 2004. At that time the railroads were handling about 70% of the nation's finished autos. Since 2004, the auto industry has been turned upside down by high fuel costs and the downturn in the economy.

Norfolk Western train symbol KD-12 with auo parts boxcars at Tolano, IL

Ahead of the caboose are empty auto parts boxcars returning to the Detroit area from auto assembly plants on the West Coast and Kansas City.

The following is US car and truck assembly plant production, employment, and factory utilization from 2003.


Belvidere, Ill. Chrysler, Dodge Neon 152,816 1,789 56%
Detroit Jeep Grand Cherokee 225,372 2,717 91%
Sterling Heights, Mich. Chrysler Sebring, Dodge Stratus 207,711 2,551 81%
Newark, Del. Dodge Durango 114,453 2,032 59%
St. Louis (North) Dodge Ram Quad Cab 189,419 2,266 114%
St. Louis (South) Chrysler Voyager, Dodge Caravan, Grand Caravan 238,256 3,379 88%
Toledo, Ohio (North) Jeep Liberty 237,712 2,210 128%
Toledo, Ohio (South) Jeep Wrangler 84,486 1,076 53%
Vance, Ala. Mercedes M-class 84,440 1,900 84%
Dodge City (Warren, Mich.) Dodge Ram, Dakota 274,847 3,355 113%


Atlanta Taurus, Mercury Sable 175,358 2,130 70%
Chicago Taurus, Mercury Sable 174,181 2,779 70%
Dearborn, Mich. Ford Mustang 154,937 2,019 93%
Kansas City, Mo. Ford Escape, Mazda Tribute 259,473 2,649 120%
Wayne, Mich. Ford Focus 204,378 3,360 73%
Wixom, Mich. Lincoln sedans, Ford Thunderbird 112,874 2,294 50%
Edison, N.J. Ford Ranger, Mazda B-series pickups 62,004 878 40%
Kansas City, MO F-series 232,043 3,056 111%
Kentucky Truck, (Louisville, Ky) Ford SuperDuty, Excursion 402,768 5,724 126%
Lorain, Ohio Ford Econoline 178,308 2,845 110%
Louisville, Ky. Ford Explorer, Mercury Mountaineer 288,589 3,692 106%
Norfolk, Va. F-series 201,916 2,697 94%
St. Louis, MO Ford, Lincoln, Mercury SUVs 218,646 2,632 108%
Twin Cities (St. Paul, Minn.) Ford Ranger 185,642 2,019 103%


Bowling Green, Ky. Corvette, Cadillac XLR 37,757 901 67%
Detroit-Hamtramack, Mich. GM full sized sedans 176,793 2,647 70%
Fairfax (Kansas City, Kan.) Chevy Malibu, Pontiac Grand Prix 67,364 1,996 29%
Lansing, Mich. (C plant) Olds Arero, Pontiac Grand Am 207,281 2,126 95%
Lansing, Mich. (Grand River) Cadillac CTS, SRX 74,654 1,407 90%
Lansing, Mich. (M plant) Pontiac Grand Am, Chevy Malibu 214,201 2,226 95%
Lordstown, Ohio Chevy Cavalier, Pontiac Sunfire 334,598 3,740 119%
Orion Township, Mich. Buick LeSabre, Park Avenue 104,804 1,546 41%
Spring Hill, Tenn. Saturn Ion, Vue 237,357 3,582 107%
Wilmington, Del. Saturn L-series 45,440 960 18%
Arlington, Texas GM full size SUVs 238,396 2,626 110%
Baltimore Chevy Astro, GMC Safari 48,631 1,035 23%
Doraville, GA. minivans 204,923 2,764 74%
Flint 1, Mich. Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra 165,383 2,561 136%
Flint 2, Mich. GM medium duty trucks 20,906 616 31%
Fort Wayne, Ind. Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra 267,044 2,633 105%
Janesville, Wis. GM full size SUVs 257,793 3,116 105%
Linden, N.J. Chevy Blaser, GMC Jimmy 96,833 1,311 44%
Moraine, Ohio Chevy Trailblazer, GMC Envoy 352,598 3,899 137%
Oklahoma City Chevy Trailblazer, GMC Envoy 144,255 2,513 91%
Pontiac, Mich. Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra 301,793 3,554 129%
Shreveport, La. Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon 122,583 2,231 54%
Wentzville, Mo. Chevy Express, GMC Savanna 161,349 2,259 88%


Flat Rock, Mich. Mazda6 83,321 1,611 32%


Spartanburg, S.C. Z4 Roadster, X5 SUV 166,672 4,000 104%


East Liberty, Ohio Honda Civic, Element 231,844 2,235 95%
Marysville, Ohio Honda Accord, Acura TL 445,545 4,315 98%
Lincoln, AL Honda Odyssey 167,925 2,167 105%


Normal, Ill. 174,412 2,779 74%


Smyrna, Tenn. (1) Altima, Maxima 322,030 2,523 107%
Smyrna, Tenn. (2) Frontier, Xterra 131,948 1,361 58%


Fremont, Calif. Toyota Corolla, Pontiac Vibe 233,521 2,604 104%
Fremont, Calif. Toyota Tacoma 161,572 1,711 103%


Lafayette, Ind. Isuzu SUV, Subaru Legacy, Baja 122,362 2,200 49%


Georgetown, Ky. Avalon, Camry, Sienna 438,426 4,541 98%
Princeton, Ind. 291,637 3,700

2002 truck assembly plant ranking by vehicle segment - hours per vehicle
1. Nissan Smyrna Xterra 90,395 18.35
2. Ford Kansas City  1 Contour/Mystique, Ford Escape, Mazda Tribute 264,083 22.10
3. DCX Toledo North Liberty 225,703 24.02
4. DCX Toledo South Wrangler 76,874 25.43
5. CAMI Chevrolet Tracker, Suzuki Vitara 62,724 29.90

1. GM Moraine Bravada, Envoy, Envoy XL, Trailblazer, Trailblazer EXT 325,436 23.22
2. Honda Alliston  2 Acura MDX, Odyssey, Pilot 191,754 23.23
3. Ford Louisville Explorer, Mountaineer, Sport Trac 320,406 24.32
4. DCX Jefferson North Grand Cherokee 253,198 24.43
5. Ford St. Louis Aviator, Explorer, Mountaineer 220,233 24.50
6. GM Linden Blazer, Jimmy, S/T Pickup 112,168 27.96
7. DCX Newark Durango 122,305 28.83
8. GM Oklahoma Trailblazer EXT, Envoy XL 120,697 38.79

1. GM Arlington Escalade, Tahoe, Yukon 220,450 23.78
2. GM Silao Avalanche, Escalade EXT, Suburban, Yukon XL 234,502 27.66
3. GM Janesville - C/K Suburban, Tahoe, Yukon, Yukon XL 238,573 27.73
4. Ford Michigan Truck Expedition, Navigator 193,083 38.50

1. Nissan Smyrna Frontier 83,966 18.23
2. Ford Twin Cities Ranger 181,315 21.25
3. GM Shreveport S/T Pickup 175,913 22.86
4. NUMMI Toyota Tacoma 164,555 24.61
5. Ford Edison Mazda B-Series, Ranger 74,776 26.85
6. DCX Warren Dakota, Ram Pickup 264,010 27.35

1. GM Oshawa Sierra, Silverado Pickup 322,473 20.41
2. GM Fort Wayne Sierra, Silverado Pickup 253,672 21.66
3. Ford Norfolk F-Series 228,843 22.54
4. GM Pontiac Assembly Ctr. Sierra, Silverado Pickup 234,198 23.45
5. Ford Kansas City  2 F-Series, Blackwood 254,054 24.00
6. Ford Ontario Truck F-Series 107,424 26.76
7. Ford Kentucky F-Series, Excursion 377,123 29.06
8. GM Flint Sierra, Silverado Pickup 156,963 31.31
9. DCX Saltillo Ram Pickup 133,594 31.77
10. DCX St. Louis North Ram Pickup 160,819 33.77
11. DCX Lago Alberto Ram Pickup 69,220 37.74
12. Ford Cuautitlan F-Series (PN96, PN131, H215) 31,925 51.12

1. GM Doraville Montana, Silhouette, Venture 238,609 23.63
2. DCX Windsor Caravan, Town & Country 292,806 27.79
3. Ford Oakville Windstar 211,060 28.06
4. DCX St. Louis South Caravan, Voyager 228,752 28.82
5. GM Baltimore Astro, Safari 76,595 29.59
6. Ford Ohio Assembly Quest, Villager 26,891 32.19

1. Ford Lorain Econoline 189,528 29.63
2. GM Wentzville Express, Savana 146,140 31.05
3. DCX Pillette Road Ram Van, Ram Wagon 43,344 38.92

1. GM Toluca Medium Duty 17,867 45.75
2. GM Janesville MD Kodiak, School Buses, Topkick, 540 Tilt Cab 19,183 52.00
3. GM Flint MD Medium Duty 13,919 84.12

2000 North America car and truck assembly plant production


Belvidere, Ill. 228,662
Bramalea, Ontario 291,884
Conner Avenue (Detroit) 4,621
Sterling Heights, Mich. 199,650
Toluca, Mexico 182,808 Only PT Cruiser production after July
Jefferson Avenue (Detroit) 293,160
Lago Alberto, Mexico 95,165
Newark, Del. 180,346
Saltillo, Mexico 126,664
St. Louis (North) 135,588
St. Louis (South) 210,564
Toledo, Ohio 261,030
Vance, Ala. 80,005
Dodge City (Warren, Mich.) 270,013
Windsor, Ontario 339,353
Pillette Road (Windsor, Ontario) 72,844


Atlanta 281,801
Chicago 273,812
Cuautitlan, Mexico 22,839
Dearborn, Mich. 180,431
Hermosillo, Mexico 170,365
Kansas City, Mo. 22,798 (Car production in Feb. 2000)
St. Thomas, Ontario 235,681
Wayne, Mich. 325,720
Wixom, Mich. 162,771
Avon Lake, Ohio 68,632
Cuautitlan, Mexico 87,381
Detroit Chassis Plant (Detroit) 23,730
Edison, N.J. 172,398
Kansas City, Mo. 353,272
Kentucky Truck, (Louisville, Ky) 426,499
Lorain, Ohio 216,467
Louisville, Ky. 290,888
Norfolk, Va. 230,628
Oakville, Ontario (Windstar) 279,511
Ontario Truck (Oakville, Ontario) 114,454
St. Louis 239,353
Twin Cities (St. Paul, Minn.) 203,353
Michigan Truck (Wayne, Mich.) 286,469


Bowling Green, Ky. 34,919
Detroit-Hamtramack, Mich. 239,537
Fairfax (Kansas City, Kan.) 226,813
Lansing, Mich. (C plant) 202,879
Lansing Craft Centre (Lansing, Mich) 12,043
Lansing, Mich. (M plant) 188,388
Lordstown, Ohio 345,313
Oklahoma City 254,743
Orion Township, Mich. 223,497
Oshawa, Ontario (No. 1) 285,774
Oshawa, Ontario (No. 2) 279,634
Ramos Arizpe, Mexico 187,504
Spring Hill, Tenn. 175,308
Ste. Therese, Quebec 74,967
Wilmington, Del. 85,954
Arlington, Texas 102,677
Baltimore 122,334
Doraville, GA. 263,342
Flint, Mich. 83,682
Fort Wayne, Ind. 252,927
Janesville, Wisc. (No. 1, 2, 3) 237,454
Linden, N.J. 192,442
Moraine, Ohio 295,507
Oshawa, Ontario (Truck) 323,034
Pontiac, Mich. (East) 305,328
Shreveport, La. 205,152
Wentzville, Mo. 173,453
Mexico trucks 257,166 [Includes production from: Ramos Arizpe (12,424), Silao (207,965), Toluca (36,777)]


Flat Rock, Mich. (car) 107,431


Spartanburg, S.C. 38,665
Toluca, Mexico 1,594
Spartanburg, S.C. 45,007


Ingersoll, Ontario (car) 31,906
Ingersoll, Ontario (truck) 75,745


East Liberty, Ohio 225,723
Marysville, Ohio 451,367
Alliston, Ontario 166,915
El Salto Jalisco, Mexico 18,801
Alliston, Ontario 159,908


Normal, Ill. (car) 221,975


Aguascalientes/Cuernavaca, Mexico 269,475
Smyrna, Tenn. 150,129
Smyrna, Tenn. 227,146
Cuernavaca, Mexico (truck) 44,021


Fremont, Calif. (car) 197,737
Fremont, Calif. (truck) 146,339


Lafayette, Ind. (car) 107,955
Lafayette, Ind. (truck) 100,721


Cambridge, Ontario 183,739
Georgetown, Ky. 371,877
Georgetown, Ky. 123,553
Princeton, Ind. 129,724


Puebla, Mexico (car) 425,703

Notes: Includes light-vehicle production in North America, heavy trucks excluded; actual production in Mexico includes domestic and export units

Toyota Camry Georgetown, KY was Toyota�s first (16 years old in 2003) and largest U.S. plant produces 440,000 cars a year the Avalon sedan, the Solara coupe and the Camry.

Toyota Motor Corp.'s Tahara plant on Japan's eastern coast is robot filled and produces Lexus GS 300 and 430 and LS 430 luxury sedans. In 2003, Tahara produces 460,000 vehicles a year in its two body shops and three assembly plants.

Ford Motor Co.'s Kansas City, KS assembly plant. It produces the F150, Ford�s most profitable vehicle. In addition to Ford�s F-150 pickup which is available in so many configurations - it is assembled 46 different ways. The Kansas City plant builds the Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute SUVs. The plant built 491,000 vehicles last year and will exceed 500,000 in 2004.

Ford's Twin Cities Assembly Plant in St. Paul, NM opened in 1924 and is scheduled for closure in 2011.

Ford announced in 2006 that it would shut down 14 plants in North America by 2012. The first five to be cut were: Atlanta, GA; Batavia, OH; St. Louis, MO; Wixom, MI; and Windsor, Ontario. The Atlanta (Hapeville) plant opened in 1947 and closed in October 2006. The Wixom plant opened in 1957 and closed in May 2007.

Ford's Edison plant in New Jersey closed in 2004.

Ford's Lorain, Ohio plant opened in 1958, closed in 2005, produced around 7,500,000 vehicles. Operations are shifting to Avon Lake, Ohio.

Daimler Chrysler's newest U.S. plant is the Toledo North facility. Built in 2001, it churns out 900 Jeep Liberty sport utility vehicles a day, up from 700 a day just two years ago.

Hyundai is building a $1 billion factory in Montgomery, AL., to make Sonata sedans and Santa Fe SUVs. The plant which includes stamping, body, paint, assembly and engine shops will be capable of building 300,000 vehicles a year with a work force of 2,000.

Hyundai Asan assembly plant in South Korea, makes 300,000 cars a year, but with 3,000 employees 1,000 more than will be on hand in Alabama.

Nissan Motor Co.'s Smyrna, Tenn assembly plant was built 24 years ago (2003). The Smyrna plant turns out Altima and Maxima sedans, the Xterra SUV, the Frontier pickup. It was most productive in the US, taking 15.33 hours to make a vehicle.

Nissan�s new plant in Canton, Miss.

Honda Motor Co. East Liberty, Ohio produces Civic sedans and Element light trucks. It uses batch processing based on model type, color and options.

Toyota�s new truck-making plant in San Antonio, Texas.

BMW Spartanburg, S.C., is a flexible assembly plant. The plant can build everything from X5 sport utility vehicles equipped with diesel engines bound for Europe to a custom-ordered Z4 that can be delivered to a wealthy West Coast customer within two weeks. The factory opened in March 1995 produces some of BMW�s most profitable products.

General Motors Corp. demolished 19 former Oldsmobile buildings in 1999 to make room for its new Lansing, MI Grand River assembly plant. The 2 million square foot plant opened in 2001, and produced 47,072 Cadillac CTS, SRX in 2002 and 59,128 in 2003.

GM of Canada, Ltd. Oshawa Truck Assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario, built in 1965 covers 3.1 million square feet. In 2003 it produced 322,251 Chevrolet Silverado, Chevrolet Silverado SS, GMC Sierra, GMC Sierra Denali Light Duty, Full-size, Pick-up Truck with 2 or 4 wheel drive, 4 Door Extended Cab or 4 Door Crew Cab.

GM Saturn Wilmington, DE Assembly plant opened in 1947 and produced 103,516 2001 Saturn L Series and 98,899 2002 Saturn L Series.

GM Doraville, GA Assembly plant opened in 1947 and produced 115,330 2001 Chevrolet Venture, 75,625 2001 Pontiac Montana, 35,902 2001 Oldsmobile Silhouette, 85,190 2002 Pontiac Montana, 130,028 2002 Chevrolet Venture.

GM Allison Transmission plant in Indianapolis, IN opened in 1915.

GM Fort Wayne, IN Assembly produced 187,430 2001 Chevrolet Silverado/CK, 54,201 2001 GMC Sierra, 61,139 2002 GMC Sierra, 192,533 2002 Chevrolet Silverado.

GM Indianapolis, IN Metal Fabricating Center opened in 1930.

GM Marion, IN Metal Fabricating Center opened in 1956.

GM Fairfax, KS Assembly plant produced 131,105 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix, 38,504 2001 Oldsmobile Intrigue, 145,813 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix, 13,243 2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue.

GM Bowling Green, KY Assembly plant opened in 1981 and produced 35,535 2001 Chevrolet Corvette, 35,938 2002 Chevrolet Corvette.

GM Shreveport, LA Assembly plant opened in 1978 and produced 120,633 2001 Chevrolet S10 pickup, 33,415 2001 GMC Sonoma, 138,386 2002 Chevrolet S10.

GM Baltimore, MD Assembly plant opened in 1935 and produced 59,585 2001 Chevrolet Astro and 22,679 2001 GMC Safari.

GM Detroit/Hamtramack, MI Assembly plant opened in 1985 and produced 80,822 2001 Buick LeSabre, 25,421 2001 Cadillac Seville, 98,420 2001 Cadillac DeVille, 86,849 2002 Cadillac DeVille, 99,457 2002 Buick LeSabre, 23,428 2002 Cadillac Seville.

GM Flint, MI metal Fabricating center opened in 1954.

GM Flint, MI Truck Assembly plant opened in 1947 and produced 39,597 2001 GMC Sierra/Crew Cab, 115,227 2001 Chevrolet Silverado/CK/Crew Cab, 42,938 2002 GMC Sierra crew cab, 114,025 2002 Chevrolet Silverado crew cab, 8,010 2002 Chevrolet medium duty truck, 5,909 2002 GMC medium duty truck.

GM Bay City, MI Powertrain plant opened in 1916.

GM Flint, MI Powertrain Engine South plant produced 6,730 engines in 2002.

GM Livonia, MI Powertrain Engine plant opened in 1971 and produced 261,857 engines in 2002.

GM Romulus, MI Powertrain Engine plant opened in 1976 and produced 1,356,008 engines in 2002.

GM Romulus, MI Powertrain Transmission plant opened in 1995 and produced 235,208 transmissions in 2002.

GM Warren, MI Powertrain Transmission plant produced 1,439,220 transmissions in 2002.

GM Willow Run, MI Powertrain Transmission plant produced 666,669 transmissions in 2002.

GM Lansing, MI Car Assembly plant opened in 1920 and produced 107,390 2002 Oldsmobile Alero and 140,258 2002 Pontiac Grand AM.

GM Lansing, MI Car Assembly - Chassis plant opened in 1902 and produced 91,120 2001 Pontiac Grand AM, 119,752 2001 Oldsmobile Alero, 106,003 2001 Pontiac Grand AM, 109,796 2001, Chevrolet Malibu, 53,215 2002 Pontiac Grand AM, and 203,493 2002 Chevrolet Malibu.

GM Orion, MI Assembly plant opened in 1983 and produced 29,931 2001 Buick Park Avenue 54,516 2001 Buick LeSabre, 46,795 2001 Pontiac Bonneville, 19,420 2001 Oldsmobile Aurora, 7,217 2002 Oldsmobile Aurora, 38,397 2002 Pontiac Bonneville, 43,190 2002 Buick LeSabre, 32,550 2002 Buick Park Avenue.

GM Pontiac, MI Assembly plant opened in 1972 and produced 158,249 2001 Chevrolet Silverado/CK, 50,345 2001 GMC Sierra, 55,406 2002 GMC Sierra, 178,792 2002 Chevrolet Silverado.

GM Wentzville, MO Assembly plant opened in 1983 and produced 37,334 2001 GMC G1500/2500 Savana, 106,168 2002 Chevrolet Express, 39,972 2002 GMC Savana.

GM Linden, NJ Assembly plant opened in 1937 and produced 21,011 2001 Chevrolet S10 Pickup, 5,964 2001 GMC Sonoma, 113,158 2001 Chevrolet Blazer, 7,640 2001 GMC Jimmy 79,739 2002 Chevrolet Blazer, 21,673 2002 Chevrolet S10.

GM Tonawanda, NY Engine plant opened in 1938 and produced 1,807,725 engines in 2002.

GM Toledo, OH transmission plant opened in 1956 and produced 1,776,784 transmissions in 2002.

GM Lordstown, OH Assembly plant opened in 1966 and produced 240,830 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier, 83,011 2001 Pontiac Sunfire, 264,937 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier, 83,463 2002 Pontiac Sunfire.

GM Moraine, OH Assembly plant opened in 1952 and produced 163,253 2001 Chevrolet Trailblazer, 69,258 2001 GMC Envoy, 25,561 2001 Oldsmobile Bravada, 214,192 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer, 10,263 2002 Oldsmobile Bravada, 93,744 2002 GMC Envoy, 3,545 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer EXT, 1,766 2002 GMC Envoy XL, 1,926 2002 Isuzu Ascender.

GM southeast Oklahoma City, OK Assembly plant opened in 1979 and produced 60,171 2001 Chevrolet Malibu, 77,637 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer EXT, 43,060 2002 GMC Envoy XL.

More than 5.4 million vehicles have been produced at the GM plant in Oklahoma City since it first opened in 1979. Production began with the compact Chevrolet Citation and Pontiac Phoenix. In 1982, the plant was idled for about four months during a massive conversion to make the midsize Chevrolet Celebrity, Buick Century, and Chevrolet Citation. Production of the Pontiac 6000 began in 1987. In 1989 the plant started producing the Oldsmobile Ciera. In 1996 production began on the Chevrolet Malibu and Oldsmobile Cutlass. The last Chevrolet Malibu rolled off the production line in May 2001. GM invested $750 million in the Oklahoma City truck conversion. Production of the Chevrolet Trailblazer EXT and the GMC Envoy XL began in January 2002. One year later, in January 2003, the plant began production of the Isuzu Ascender. Now, some of the first Envoy SUVs are coming off of the production line.

GM Spring Hill, TN Saturn Assembly plant opened in 1990 and produced 171,909 2001 Saturn S Series, 3,284 2001 Saturn Vue, 34,489 2002 Saturn Ion, 110,968 2002 Saturn S Series.

GM Arlington, TX Assembly plant has been expanded seven times since launching operations in 1954. It produced 125,794 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe, 40,702 2001 GMC Yukon, 36,657 2001 Cadillac Escalade, 40,377 2002 Cadillac Escalade, 134,805 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe, 40,563 2002 GMC Yukon, 1,829 2002 GMC Yukon XL, 2,916 2002 Chevrolet Suburban. For the third straight year, General Motors' Arlington Assembly plant set the benchmark as the most efficient producer of full-size sport utility vehicles in North America. Arlington workers took 22.7 hours to make a vehicle in 2003 while the industry average was around 27 hours.

GM Janesville, WI Assembly plant opened in 1954 and produced 73,571 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe, 41,756 2001 GMC Yukon, 63,844 2001 Chevrolet Suburban, 44,776 2001 GMC Yukon XL, 19,142 2001 GMC Medium Duty Truck, 5,245 2001 GMC W-4 Light Duty Truck, 61,109 2002 Chevrolet Suburban, 86,064 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe, 46,996 2002 GMC Yukon, 44,404 2002 GMC Yukon XL, 10,341 2002 GMC Medium Duty Truck, 3,705 2002 Chevrolet Medium Duty Truck, 864 2002 Isuzu Meduim Duty Truck, 4,273 2002 GMC W-4 Light Duty Truck.

GM Ramos Arizpe plant in Mexico opened in 1981 and 2002 production Pontiac Aztek 36,267, Chevrolet Cavalier 32,549, Chevrolet Chevy 85,822, Pontiac Sunfire 23,320, Buick Rendezvous 77,403.

GM Silao, Guanajuato, northwest of Mexico City opened in 1994 and 2002 production Chevrolet Suburban 92,398, GMC Yukon XL 36,653, Cadillac Escalade EXT 15,590, Chevrolet Avalanche 89,605, Cadillac Escalade ESV 256.

GM Toluca, Mexico opened in 1994 and 2002 production Chevrolet GMT-455 3500HD 7,488, GMC GMT-455 3500HD 1,078, Chevrolet C Series 2,392, Chevrolet Silverado 6,909.

GM's parts suppliers consume a significant portion of the metals used every day in production components for the big automaker's North American-built cars and trucks, the total gross volumes of which include more than 20,000 tons of steel of all types; 4,250 tons of iron; 2,700 tons of aluminum; 546 tons of copper and brass; 420 tons of powder metals; and 73 tons of magnesium casting alloys. GM purchases approximately 17,000 tons of steel per day for use in its North American cars and light trucks. The automaker's aluminum castings suppliers reportedly consume around 2,000 tons of metal every day, and companies furnishing the copper used in GM's vehicles deliver 450 to 500 tons per day. GM uses 385 tons of powder metal parts and at least 150 tons of cast zinc components in its vehicles every day. (Figures from various sources in one article)

GM and UP signed a five year contract for the transport of about two million finished autos at the end of 1999. UP will operate a fleet of 6,000 auto cars dedicated solely for General Motors. About 60 percent of volume covered under the contract involves autos built at Eastern assembly plants and interchanged with UP at gateways in Chicago and Salem, Ill., and St. Louis. UP also directly serves five General Motors assembly pants in Janesville, Wis.; Fairfax, Kan.; Shreveport, La.; Arlington, Texas and Fremont, Calif.

Ford's supply chain has 4,000 suppliers, 31 powertrain plants, 13 stamping plants, 54 assembly plants, sending cars and trucks to over 20,000 dealers. At any given time Ford has 500,000 tons of freight in transit.

Ford Kansas City Assembly Plant opened in 1951, covers 4.5 million square feet and has 5,200 employees. Today it builds the Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique sedans, as well as F-Series trucks. During 1998, Kansas City produced 404,083 cars and trucks - more than any Ford assembly plant in the world. On an average day, 1,920 cars and trucks roll off the Kansas City Plant's two assembly lines.

Ford's Forest Park plant in St. Louis opened in 1914. In 1924 a peak productions was 325 Model T's per day. Between 1922 and 1923 the plant also produced the Fordson tractor. During the peak of production, 125 tractors a day. In March of 1948, the new St. Louis Assembly Plant was ready to start production. St. Louis Assembly continued to produce Mercury and Ford automobiles until January 25, 1984, when the last Mercury rolled off the end of the line. From this time on, St. Louis Assembly would join the truck division of Ford. On May 25, 1985, after a four month shut down, St. Louis Assembly proudly launched the Aerostar minivan. The plant started producing the Explorer Sport Utility Vehicle in January of 1995. The last Aerostar came off the line on August 22, 1997. The plant was closed in March 2006.

Ford's Dearborn Assembly Plant opened in 1918 as a three-story factory building Eagle boats, known as submarine chasers, for the U.S. government. In 1921, assembly of the Fordson Tractor moved to the plant, and wooden body parts for the Model T were manufactured here. In 1927, Model A debuted at the plant. In 1932, production of Ford V8 began, replacing the Model A. 1936 saw the introduction of the V8 light truck. In 1948, the plant was named Dearborn Assembly Plant. In 1955, Thunderbird production began; and in 1964, Mustang was born. In 1978, the plant added production of Mercury Capri and celebrated the company's 150 millionth vehicle, a Mustang. The convertible model of Mustang was introduced in 1982. Dearborn Assembly plant built 6.7 million Mustangs in 40 years.

Ford's Norfolk, VA assembly plant opened in 1925. The Norfolk plant has exclusively built the F-series since 1974. All critical sheet metal for the F-150 is stamped at the Woodhaven, MI and Dearborn, MI stamping facilities and shipped by railcar to Norfolk, Va. Woodhaven and Dearborn also supply the Kansas City, MO and Dearborn assembly plants. The Norfolk plant was closed in June 2007.

Ford's first assembly plant in Louisville, KY at a new Southwestern Parkway location opened in 1925 and turned out Model A's and other Ford trucks and cars from scratch. In 1955 Ford moved the assembly plant to the Fern Valley Road location. Next came Ford's Kentucky Truck Plant, also in Louisville, which opened in 1969. Louisville Assembly plant makes the Ford Explorer, Mercury Mountaineer and Ford Ranger.

Ford's Atlanta (Hapeville) plant and Chicago plant produced the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable. The Atlanta plant was closed in October 2006.

Chrysler is the only Detroit automaker that still produces glass and axles. General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Corp. largely exited the parts business when they spun off Delphi Corp. and Visteon Corp., respectively, in recent years.

Daimler Chrysler�s Warren Truck Assembly Plant is part of Dodge City which also includes a stamping plant and nearby engine plant. Dodge City is located just outside the Detroit city limits in suburban Warren, MI. The plant, which runs two eight-hour shifts, churns out 68 of the wildly popular full-size Dodge Ram 1500 (half-ton) and compact Dodge Dakota pickup trucks each hour. That works out to 1,088 units per day. Warren Truck Assembly plant first began assembling Dodge trucks in 1938.

Daimler Chrysler's Mercedes-Benz assembly plant in Vance, Alabama opened in 1997. It is the first auto assembly plant in the state. It builds two SUVs, the ML320 and the new ML430. The automaker recently announced plans to increase output at its Vance vehicle assembly facility from 65,000 to 80,000 units annually. Johnson Controls is more than doubling the size of its Cottondale, Alabama manufacturing plant, as it increases production of interior systems for Mercedes-Benz. The plant currently manufactures seats and overhead systems for Mercedes-Benz SUVs. Johnson Controls also supplies door panels, interior quarter panels and other components for the vehicles.

Toyota in Huntsville, AL started making engines in 2003.

Honda in Lincoln, AL started making minivans in November 2001.

Hyundai in Montgomery, AL started making sedans and sport-utility vehicles in 2005.

Mexico is considered one of the Western Hemisphere�s most important automotive industry manufacturing platforms. The Mexican automotive industry represents 20% of the country�s total manufactured exports. In 2002, Mexico produced 1.7 million vehicles, of which over 80% were exported. Mexico is Latin America�s top motor exporter, the world�s tenth largest producer of light vehicles, and the second largest importer of U.S.-made auto parts.

Delphi had been using another provider to manage dedicated distribution centers in El Paso and Laredo, Tex., its two gateways for parts flowing between the U.S. and Mexico. Ryder had been hired to handle inbound and outbound transportation. Delphi Packard makes power and signal distribution systems for the world�s 20 largest automakers. Ryder moves raw materials and components from the U.S., Europe and Asia into the border distribution centers, where items are cross-docked and shipped over the road to 32 Delphi plants in Mexico. The finished goods are then run back through the distribution centers to auto manufacturers throughout the U.S. The job entails approximately 45,000 different source materials and 15,000 finished items, all moving under extremely tight schedules.

GE has taken that same aggressive philosophy to sourcing product in Mexico. Two years ago, it began searching for quality carriers that could participate in a company-wide transportation program linking Mexico with the U.S. The long-term strategy was to bring Canada into the picture as well, allowing GE to deal with a minimal number of reliable providers for all of North America. Roadway Express Inc. is based in Akron, Ohio. One strong factor in the selection was Roadway�s willingness to participate in the Six Sigma effort in Mexico. Others, according to Jakubchak, included the carrier�s North American scope, technology, website, tracking and tracing capabilities, and Border Ambassador service, by which Roadway works with brokers, carriers and customs officials to expedite the movement of freight across the U.S.-Mexico border. The new program quickly made a difference in GE�s Mexican supply chain. Within six months, the average number of days that product spent in transport went from 20 to fewer than 10. Roadway also provided an intra-Mexico service that linked plants and suppliers within the country. It works with a dedicated line haul carrier which runs domestic trailers painted in Roadway colors between Mexico City and points such as Monterrey, Guadalajara and San Luis Potosi.

UP Mira Loma The UP expanded the Mira Loma auto handling facility in 2004. UP added four new 2,500 foot tracks for loading and unload and four new 3000 foot storage tracks. When the improvements are completed, the facility will be able to handle 2,000 automobiles per day. Some used autos are loaded onto auto racks for movement to auto auctions across the country.

BNSF National City In September 2004, the Pasha Group unloaded its 2,000,000th vehicle at the National City Automotive Facility, located in the Port of San Diego. The facility opened in 1990, covers 150 acres and and includes 350,000 square feet of warehouse space and post-production facilities where vehicles are accessorized for dealerships. It took Pasha 10 years to see the first million cars unloaded at National City, and only four to see the second million. Now the facility processes more than 300,000 vehicles annually.

Tacoma Marshall Avenue Auto Facility

The new $40 million, leased auto-processing facility allows the Port and AWC to continue the expansion of auto import processing in Tacoma. The company currently processes Isuzu, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi and Suzuki auto imports through Tacoma. In 2002, these vehicles accounted for a Port record of 180,000 autos. In the past 20-plus years, more than 3 million vehicles have been imported through the Port of Tacoma.


In 1994-95 the ATSF constructed a huge automobile unloading facility to the east of the right-of-way in the City of El Mirage. It is the terminus for train V-KCPX and is switched by a private company, using a geep and a very old EMD switcher that appears to be a SW1 or SW2.


Probably the most significant event to occur in the history of Western Pacific subsequent to 1953 was the location of the Ford Assembly Plant on company property at Milpitas, California on the San Jose Branch. Ford Corporation called the facility the San Jose Ford Motor Assembly Plant. The automobile manufacturing era in Milpitas lasted little more than a quarter century. After the plant closed (1983) it remained largely unused for nearly fifteen years. Today, it is the Great Mall of the Bay Area.

Warm Springs

The town of Warm Springs, at one time in its history a retreat for those wanting to take advantage of its naturally warm spring-fed pools (like Calistoga and other North Bay retreats today) was similarly supported mostly by vineyards as well as orchards along with some cattle grazing. Fremont�s economy seems to have relied heavily on these agricultural roots for many of its early years. However, in 1964 General Motors opened an auto assembly plant in the city (in 1983 to become New United Motors Manufacturing Inc (NUMMI) in joint venture with Toyota). It was one of the first major industrial uses in the city, along with a couple of other pioneer companies named Borden Chemical and Trailmobile.

Los Angeles area closed auto plants

During the 1940s through the 1960s, Los Angeles County had become the second largest auto manufacturing region in the nation, following closely behind Detroit. Studebaker, Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors manufactured cars in the LA area. At its peak, more than 15,000 auto workers assembled half a million cars per year. By 1965, the L.A. Times even suggested that Los Angeles had replaced Detroit as the nation�s auto capital. When the 1970s arrived, imports began consuming a significant portion of the auto market in Los Angeles. The Chrysler plant in the City of Commerce became the first major auto plant to shut down. Other plant shut downs followed until the region�s last remaining auto plant, the General Motors facility in Van Nuys, closed in 1992.
Chrysler in Commerce closed July 1971
Ford's Long Beach plant opened in 1920 and closed in the 80s.
Ford in Pico Rivera produced 1.4 million automobiles closed in February 1980
General Motors in South Gate opened in 1936, closed in April 1982, produced 4.5 million automobiles
General Motors in Van Nuys opened in 1947, closed in August 1992

SP train with auto racks of new automobiles at Pantano, AZ

All of the cars loaded on this train of autoracks were assembled in plants in the Los Angeles area. Now trains bring cars to California.

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