Canadian Manufacturing

GM investing $1.3B in five plants throughout Rust Belt

Cash will be spread throughout plants in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana



FLINT, Mich.—General Motors said it plans to invest close to $1.3-billion in five manufacturing plants in the Rust Belt, including a near-$500-million commitment in a suburban Detroit facility where it will build a new 10-speed automatic transmission.

According to the automaker, the cash will be spread throughout plants in Detroit, Flint and Romulus, Mich., Toledo, Ohio and Bedford, Ind., as it looks to ramp up production of new fuel-efficient drivetrain components.

“(These) plant upgrades continue the momentum of a resurgent auto industry,” GM executive vice-president and North America President Mark Reuss said in a statement.

“More importantly, these investments add up to higher quality and more fuel-efficient vehicles for our customers.”

GM said $366-million will be invested in two plants to build the new 10-speed transmission—$343.4-million at its powertrain plant in Romulus, Mich., and $22.6-million in its casting plant in Bedford, Ind., about 120 kilometres south of Indianapolis.

The plant in Romulus, just outside of Detroit, will get an additional $150-million to boost production capacity of an existing six-cylinder engine, for a total investment of $493.4-million, while the Bedford plant will get another $6.6-million to produce components for a six-speed gearbox, for a total investment there of $29.2-million.

Elsewhere, GM’s transmission plant in Toledo, Ohio, will see $30.6-million to increase production capacity of an existing six-speed transmission and tooling for a new variant of it.

The GM assembly plant in Flint, Mich., will get a $600-million investment for a series of facility upgrades, including a new paint shop, while the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, also in Michigan, will get $121-million for a “logistics optimization centre.”

According to GM, the investment will create or retain about 1,000 jobs across the facilities.

“(This) is a win for American workers,” United Autoworkers (UAW) union vice-president Joe Ashton said.

Details about the 10-speed automatic transmission and new V6 engine will be announced at a later date.

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