Canadian Manufacturing

GM to invest $331 million to make fuel-efficient powertrains

The money, including a $46-million add-on, is spread over six manufacturing facilities to make a new small engine, improved V-6 and new transmission

DETROIT—General Motors Co. will spend $331.8 million in four manufacturing sites to produce fuel-efficient engines and transmissions.

The investments will power production of a new Ecotec small gas engine, a new V6 engine, an eight-speed transmission and tooling for an existing six-speed transmission.

GM also is increasing previously-announced powertrain investments bound for its Romulus and Saginaw, Mich. facilities by $46 million for a total of $646 million to support production of the new V6 engine.

Since 2009, GM has announced nearly $1.8 billion of investments for the six Powertrain facilities.

“We are investing in technologies and manufacturing capabilities that produce high-quality, fuel-efficient vehicles and components for our customers,” said Diana Tremblay, vice president of GM North American Manufacturing.

GM says the investment wil retain about 1,650 jobs at the six facilities.

“The selection of these plants and the opportunity for the United Auto Workers to build the next generation of engines and transmissions reflects the great efforts of our work force,” said UAW Vice President Joe Ashton, who directs the union’s GM department. “This investment goes a long way to ensuring GM remains a marketplace leader and our members can continue to support and share in the company’s growth.”

GM’s newly announced $331.8 million investment includes:

  • $215 million in Flint Engine Operations for a new small Ecotec gasoline engine, namely  three  and four-cylinder variants with displacements between 1.0 to 1.5 liters. There will also be a tooling upgrade.
  • $55.7 million in Toledo Transmission Operations for increased capacity and tooling to produce an 8-speed automatic transmission and its existing six-speed transmission. The Toledo-based eight-speed will be used in numerous GM vehicles by the end of 2016.
  • $31.7 million in Bay City Powertrain, including $19.2 million to produce components for a new V6 engine and $12.5 million to produce components for the small Ecotec gasoline engine.
  • $29.4 million in Bedford Castings, including $19 million to produce components for the small gas engine and $10.4 million to produce components for the new eight-speed and existing six-speed transmissions.

The additional $46 million for the V6 project includes a $41 million increase for Saginaw Metal Castings Operations to produce castings for the new V6 engine, and $5 million more for its Romulus Engine Operations to build the new V6 engines.

GM says it hopes to produce more than two million Ecotec gasoline engines a year by the end of the decade, based on production in Flint and other locations around the world.

The eight-speed automatic transmission will assist in improved fuel economy and performance. Details about the new V6 engine program were not disclosed.

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