Car Industry

GM drops $20 million upgrading Arlington plant for new Escalade, Tahoe and Yukon

We're still not sure when these big-boy SUVs will be unveiled, though.

After nearly six years of production, it's almost time for something new.

General Motors

The fourth generation of the Cadillac Escalade, Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon (and the Suburban, and the Yukon XL) have been on sale since 2014. Now that we're steadily approaching each car's sixth birthday, while its competitors have relatively newer offerings, it's time for a change. But there's more involved in a new generation than just flipping a switch.

General Motors announced this week that it has invested $20 million in its Arlington Assembly facility in Texas. This move will upgrade the plant's conveyor systems ahead of production commencing on GM's fifth-generation full-size SUVs. The plant, which runs three shifts at the moment, opened in 1954 and shifted from car to truck production in the late 1990s. It's the sole location where the three aforementioned models are built, employing some 4,500 people. Fun fact: Arlington was also GM's first air-conditioned factory. It's also surprisingly green, operating entirely on wind power purchased through various agreements.

Since 2015, GM has invested more than $1.4 billion dollars in the Arlington facility. While this new investment is for the conveyors that move things around the plant, previous upgrades have included a new paint shop, as well as upgrades to both the body shop and general assembly wings.

While GM's big-body utility vehicles are still plenty cushy, they're showing their age. In our review of the 2019 Cadillac Escalade, we ragged on it for its outdated infotainment and driver-assist systems. Our review of the 2019 GMC Yukon XL, a variant of the Yukon with even more cargo volume, said pretty much the same thing. Some vehicles have been given more interesting trims over the years to maintain relevancy, like the Tahoe's RST (Rally Sport Truck) trim that added a 6.2-liter V8. But, overall, it's about time for a change. Especially when you take into consideration the recently refreshed competition from Ford's Expedition and Lincoln's Navigator.

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