General Motors recently announced plans to add a third shift at Arlington Assembly, generating an estimated 800 jobs in the process. The Texas plant makes the award-winning Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade. The shift is expected to start in the first quarter of 2013 with additional staffing beginning in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Arlington Assembly currently employs approximately 2,500 hourly and salaried employees and operates two production shifts. In 2011, the plant produced nearly 270,000 vehicles. Demand for full-size SUVs remains stable. The third shift will enable Arlington Assembly to meet market demand for the current generation of full-size SUVs and provide relief for employees who have worked extensive overtime since the fourth quarter of 2009. The installation of new tooling and equipment required to build GM’s new line of SUVs will limit vehicle production in 2013. A third shift will provide the plant needed production capacity during this transition time.

“Based on economic uncertainty and gas price volatility, we took a prudent approach by relying extensively on overtime over the past few years,” said Larry Zahner, manufacturing manager for GM North America. “We see this segment stabilizing enough to add a third shift, reducing the cost and personal demand of overtime and providing us flexibility for possible increased demand as we introduce new trucks.”

Arlington’s third shift addition is the latest of a long list of job-creating actions by GM. Since July 10, 2009, GM has announced U.S. facility investments of more than $7.1 billion and more than 18,600 created or retained jobs. GM Arlington has contributed to these numbers through investment totals of $531 million and more than 1,000 created or retained jobs, all announced within the past 13 months.

The latest announcement comes on the heels of a $425 million investment by General Motors in its Tonawanda Engine plant, which produces the next-generation Ecotec motors for the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu and Cadillac ATS.