Texas holds many traditional American values, and one such value is being home to the manufacturing of some exceptional automobiles. Located in Arlington, Texas, the Arlington Assembly Plant opened in 1954 and holds a lengthy history of manufacturing some of the most notable models from brands such as Chevrolet and GMC. Some of the vehicles you’ll see at your local Chevy Dealership in Dallas were built not so far away at this exact factory. The Arlington Assembly Plant is 5.75 million square feet built upon 250 acres of land and employs nearly 5,000 people.
Arlington Assembly Plant
Once the Arlington Assembly Plant opened over 66 years ago, the first vehicle in production was the Pontiac Chieftain before diving into full size and intermediate automobiles before switching to a focus on truck manufacturing around 1997. Today, this factory develops a series of full-size SUVs that are built upon the K2 platform, a platform that was developed back in 2014 and improves upon a truck’s strength and overall reliability due to over half of the frame being made up of high-strength steel. Over 1,200 vehicles are produced daily, a few of the lineups include the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban, as well as the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL. The Tahoe and Suburban are nearly identical these days with similar feature sets and trim levels.
The Chevy Tahoe remains a popular full-size SUV due to an advanced feature set in terms of both entertainment and safety, making the Tahoe great for any long trip. Before it became the Tahoe, it was originally known as the Yukon between 1991-1994 until the Yukon became its own lineup, and the Tahoe was born from the Blazer lineup. The Tahoe found moderate success over the years and has been recognized on multiple occasions as the best selling full-size SUV in the United States market. The Tahoe has seen many improvements over the years, and the 2021 Tahoe will continue to build upon its success.
Looking at the 2021 model, the Tahoe comes standard with an assortment of features and the ability to seat up to nine passengers. The five remaining trims are LT, RST, Z71, Premier, and High Country. When designing the all-new Tahoe, Chevy took it upon themselves to complement the newest model with the most spacious interior compared to any of its predecessors, which is great for the comfort of you and your passengers.
Even with the base model, there is a lot to admire, such as the returning 5.3L V8 engine that comes standard, and it is paired with a ten-speed automatic transmission, a massive upgrade from last year’s six-speed transmission that was found standard. With this engine installed, the 2021 Tahoe can produce 355 hp with 383 lb-ft of torque and achieves fuel efficiency ratings of up to 16 MPG in the city and 20 MPG on the highway.
There isn’t a coherent list of confirmed features for each trim just yet, but if last year’s Tahoe is anything similar to the new models, then we can expect this trim to come included with a leather-wrapped steering wheel plus cloth upholstery and those who purchased this trim in 2020 were satisfied with the immensely comfortable 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat. Additionally, the front-row passenger seat also became a six-way power-adjustable seat with this trim, and Chevrolet’s Infotainment System was included with the base model. There has been confirmation that the Infotainment system will now come standard with a 10-inch touch screen upgraded from last year’s 8-inch screen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard, much like last year’s Tahoe.
In 2020, further trims such as the LT switched the cloth upholstery to leather, added heating capabilities to the front seats, and swapped out the base model’s six-speaker audio system for a premium audio system from Bose that is made up of nine high-quality speakers fitted throughout the cabin. The LT also included the Enhanced Driver Alert Package that added a plethora of safety features such as a forward-collision warning system, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, and power-adjustable pedals to name a few. It’s unclear if any of these features will be omitted from the new Tahoe, but it’s unlikely. The next two trims, the RST and Z71, both have a heavier emphasis on off-roading than the other available trims. The Z71 will offer exceptional off-roading performance and comes standard with all-wheel drive (AWD), making rougher terrains a breeze to drive on. Those who purchase the Tahoe RST may now opt for a diesel engine to replace the standard V8 for the first time ever in the Tahoe’s existence. This diesel powertrain, in particular, is a 3.0L 6-cylinder engine that produces 277 hp but an ample 460 lb-ft of torque.
The Tahoe Premier used to hold the spot as the highest-tier of Tahoe trims and included an exceptional amount of additions, including a more powerful 6.2L V8 engine available to purchase. The 6.2L V8 you may opt for also came paired with the 10-speed automatic transmission that is now found standard on the 2021 model. This engine can produce an impressive 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, which is an exact match for the diesel engine found in the RST, so overall, we’re happy to see it return in the 2021 Tahoe lineup. The 2020 Premier lived up to its name with luxurious features such as 12-way power-adjustable seats for both front row seats that are not only heated but ventilated as well. The Bose audio system sees an upgrade as well with the Premier as it adds an additional speaker to the mix, making it ten speakers in total.
It will certainly be interesting to see where Chevy takes this trim in 2021 though we should know more details soon. High Country now serves as the highest-tier trim available for the 2021 Tahoe, but there has yet to be any concrete info regarding the exact specifications it will offer.
The Chevy Suburban is special for a multitude of reasons. Most notably, the Suburban is the oldest automobile lineup still in production to this day. Chevrolet began manufacturing the Suburban back in 1934 and is currently entering the twelfth generation of the beloved full-size SUV. With a history as extensive as the Chevy Suburban, it’s abundantly clear that fans tend to resonate with this vehicle. Sharing its namesake with GMC for an extensive period of time, the GMC Suburban was eventually rebranded into what is now the Yukon XL, while Chevy continued moving forward with the Suburban lineup. The Suburban is simply the grandfather of the modern-day SUV and helped serve as a forerunner in the automotive industry.
For the 2021 Suburban, the same six trims found on the Tahoe are all here. The LS, LT, RST, Z71, Premier, and High Country make up the lineup though some slight modifications are apparent. The modern-day Suburban takes notes from the Tahoe as both of them share a familiar set of features, including both the aforementioned 5.3L and 6.2L V8 engines plus the 3.0L 6-cylinder diesel engine.
The Suburban is a classy ride, to say the least. This year, Chevy took it upon themselves to enhance the lineup in plenty of unique ways, making the vehicle much more spacious was one such way. Passengers will be treated to ample legroom, and you won’t be hindered with a shortage of cargo space as the new Suburban offers up to 144.7 cu.ft. of space for any potential cargo you may require.
A 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot comes standard with the 2021 Suburban plus the previously mentioned infotainment center with a 10-inch screen found in the Tahoe. This year, Chevy offers an available entertainment system that fits two screens in the rear row that measure in at 12.6-inches each. With these screens, your passengers can view their favorite media on them, so there will never be any more shouting, “are we there yet?” coming from the back-row.
GM’s Arlington Assembly Plant serves as a prime example as one of America’s best automobile manufacturing locations. It’s because of this factory that we see some of the very best pickup trucks and SUVs on the market today. Although this plant is one of over 20 General Motors manufacturing facilities, the Arlington location serves a special purpose, and with thousands of dedicated employees that are constantly seeking innovation at its core, the history of this location is bright, but the future is even brighter.
The best way to learn more about how GM vehicles are built, including GMC and Chevrolet, is to visit your local dealership. Chances are your local Chevy dealership contains a handful of automobiles that were manufactured at the Arlington location itself. With a wide selection of award-winning cars and a knowledgeable staff to guide you along the way, the time to start driving a Chevy has never been easier. Schedule a test drive and visit your local dealership; before you know it, you’ll want to own one as well, and the 2021 Tahoe and Suburban are a great place to start.