Missouri’s resurgent auto industry was this publication’s top story in 2013, and the sector remained a major driver of economic development and job creation for the state in 2014. Pickup trucks in particular pulled their weight, as General Motors’ Wentzville Assembly resurrected the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, and Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant prepared for production of the revamped F-150 pickup.
Read more: Check out the rest of Missouri Business Alert’s Stories of the Year for 2014.
General Motors made a big bet on midsize pickups, banking on pent-up demand for the trucks after years of slow sales following the recession. The company had stopped production of the Chevy Colorado in 2012. But the Detroit-based automaker began producing the truck again this year, and in September GM announced it was adding 750 jobs and a third production shift at the Wentzville plant.
The St. Louis-area factory served as a magnet for suppliers, who indicated they planned to add employees in the area as GM ramped up production of the trucks.
GM capped the year with the Colorado earning Motor Trend magazine’s truck of the year.
Ford, meanwhile, started 2014 with a bang by unveiling its new, aluminum F-150 pickup in January at the Detroit Auto Show. The pickup, which will be produced at the Michigan-based automaker’s plant in Claycomo, is lighter and more fuel-efficient than previous models of the truck.
As 2014 drew to a close, Ford rolled out a nationwide promotional campaign for the truck and shut down the Claycomo plant to revamp the factory for production of the aluminum pickup, which will begin in early 2015.