GM delays truck plant shift so workers can watch Detroit Lions NFC Championship game

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It would be difficult to overstate just how big of a deal it is for the city of Detroit and its residents (and residents of southeast Michigan in general) that the Detroit Lions not only made it convincingly into the NFL playoffs but found significant success in defeating the Los Angeles Rams in the Wildcard round and then the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the following week. But if there’s one thing we can point to as an automotive-minded group, it’s this: General Motors has delayed the start of the third shift at its Flint Assembly plant so that workers won’t have to miss any part of the game.

To emphasize the magnitude of this decision, it’s important to note that the Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD are built at the plant, and the popularity and, perhaps more importantly, profitability of those heavy duty trucks is so high that it’s the only GM plant in Michigan that runs a third shift, as pointed out by the Detroit Free Press. The delay is roughly an hour in total, and workers won’t be paid for that missing time. We doubt there will be any complaints.

Granted, this isn’t the first time GM has delayed starting a late shift due to a big sporting event. In prior years, delays have been recorded for some Super Bowls and for the in-state Michigan vs. Michigan State rivalry game at GM facilities in Lansing, Michigan. Still, GM’s statement on why it would hold off production of such a lucrative pair of vehicles explains it better than we can: “We recognize the Detroit Lions playing in the NFC Championship game as a rare, unique opportunity that warrants this temporary schedule adjustment to allow employees to enjoy the game and make it to work on time.”

It’s not GM’s only show of Lions pride. Take a close look at the General Motors logo currently being displayed at the Renaissance Center, GM’s headquarters in Detroit.

The Free Press reached out to Ford and Stellantis to see if either of GM’s rivals would be making shift adjustments as well. Ford has yet to provide a comment, but Stellantis, makers of the Ram truck and Jeep SUVs, has confirmed it will be running normal schedules at all of its facilities. For now, there’s only one more question that needs answering: What if the game goes to overtime? GM spokesman Kevin Kelly told the Free Press, “We’re sticking with the hour delay.” We’ll just have to wait and see about that.

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