DES MOINES, IA—Auto parts supplier Dee Zee plans to hire some 160 employees at its assembly plant here next year to make components for General Motors’ new electric vans.
The expansion comes as Dee Zee enters the third year of a 10-year contract with GM to make aluminum roof pillars for the vans. Dee Zee, which makes running boards and other components for trucks and SUVs, is also building a new assembly plant in Pleasant Hill, IA, and converting a warehouse into a production area.
GM plans to significantly ramp up production of electric vans in the coming year, hoping to beat competitors in supplying EVs to the growing logistics market. GM hopes to assemble some 50,000 electric vans annually by 2025.
GM has asked Dee Zee to supply about 46,000 of the units a year by next fall. Previously, the automaker asked Dee Zee to supply about 26,000 structures a year, beginning next June.
Dee Zee has retooled much of its operation to supply the parts for the EVs, the Zevo 400 and the Zevo 600. The company has abought 16 robots for its assembly line and is awaiting six more.Right now, Dee Zee is producing enough parts to produce 35 vehicles a month. The company hopes to supply about 1,000 vehicles a month by January.