Over the past week, General Motors has made a couple of product announcements that certainly fall at opposite ends of the automotive spectrum. First, GM made news by announcing that buyers will be able to order a Domino’s pizza to be fresh and hot at pickup by tapping an icon on their 2017-and-up Chevrolet’s in-vehicle information screen. Domino’s, which was founded by a Duesenberg collector and once sponsored an Indy car team, is the newest national merchant to be added to Chevrolet Marketplace, the U.S. auto industry’s first in-vehicle digital platform for e-commerce.
Hot pizza’s like clean air; absolutely everyone will always give it a thumbs-up. However, GM’s other big news is arguably more consequential. America’s biggest carmaker plans to continue its inexorable pivot toward SUVs and the like by sinking an additional $20 million in upgrades into its Arlington Assembly plant in Texas, whose entire existence is based on building GM’s fleet of full-size SUVs. They include the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, and the Cadillac Escalade. Remember, Arlington Assembly is the plant where GM once built full-size, rear-drive passenger cars such as the Chevrolet Caprice and the Buick Roadmaster. The new improvements will include better conveyor systems, a new paint shop and other upgrades. This brings to $4.2 billion the total that GM has invested in full-size pickup and SUV assembly at Arlington, Flint, Michigan; and at Fort Wayne, Indiana. That’s atop other investments to increase production of diesel engines for the truck-based biggies in Moraine, Ohio, and a matching 10-speed automatic transmission at Toledo, Ohio.