Despite supply chain challenges, General Motors is reporting a milestone for its Arlington Assembly plant: breaking a 70-year monthly production record. 

In March, the plant assembled more than 34,000 vehicles in 27 days, breaking last year’s monthly record. 

The record comes despite challenges faced by the manufacturer to secure parts such as semiconductors since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. John Urbanic, Arlington GM plant executive director, sees the record as a sign the supply chain woes, particularly with semiconductors, are waning.

Credit for surpassing the 70-year record goes to the plant’s employees and a flexible production schedule, Urbanic said. Product engineers, for example, helped identify what could be produced with the parts available. The plant also heavily relies on a purchasing and supply chain team that works directly with suppliers to recognize when there’s strains in the pipeline and how to get the parts to the plant faster. 

“It’s a pretty good demonstration of flexibility that we have within our manufacturing system and organizational agility to manage through some of the challenges that we’ve had to work through,” Urbanic said. “Ultimately the supply base and supply chain situation continues to improve and we felt that in March.”

The Arlington plant employs more than 5,600 people. More than 1,400 robots are part of its new body shop. 

General Motors delivered 603,208 cars across the country in the first quarter of the year, according to its 2023 first quarter sales statement. GM made $156.7 billion last year, a 23% year-over-year growth, according to its 2022 earnings report. The profits are characterized by the company overcoming logistics challenges with the supply chain and increased part availability, Paul Jacobson, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said in the meeting.

“We continue to face some supply chain and logistics issues, but overall things remain trending in the right direction,” he said. 

In February, the company announced a partnership with GlobalFoundries to produce semiconductors for the company in upstate New York. General Motors  also signed a contract with U.S. rare earth metals company MP Materials to supply high-powered magnets to use in more than a dozen of its EVs, including the Hummer, Cadillac LYRIQ and Chevrolet Silverado. 

The Arlington assembly plant produces the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL and the Cadillac Escalade and exports cars to more than 30 countries. The Arlington plant opened in 1954. 

Seth Bodine is a business and economic development reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at seth.bodine@fortworthreport.org and follow on Twitter at @sbodine120

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Seth BodineBusiness Reporter

Seth Bodine is the business reporter for the Fort Worth Report. He previously covered agriculture and rural issues in Oklahoma for the public radio station, KOSU, as a Report for America corps member....