GM to invest $49 million in Bedford powertrain plant

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 8, 2011

General Motors will make a $49 million investment to buy tooling and equipment for the Bedford powertrain plant so that it can start to build parts for an 8-speed transmission and small engine program. The facility will be revamped and will be fitted with special tooling, manufacturing machinery, and equipment.

The project, which was announced recently, will either keep or create a total of 91 jobs. Last Wednesday, GM Manufacturing Manager Arvin Jones said that several upcoming vehicles will be equipped with the all-new 8-speed transmission that boosts their fuel economy.

Jones added that this new gasoline engine, which will be made available in displacements that range from 1.0 liters to 1.5 liters, is “key” to becoming the leader in the small four-cylinder engine class when it comes to fuel economy. The tooling of the Bedford plant is part of the $2 billion investment that GM has announced on May 10.

This amount will be used for 17 facilities in eight states in the U.S. The other facilities that received investments include those in Bowling Green, Ky.; Arlington, Tex.; Toledo, Ohio; and Bay City, Detroit, Flint, Lansing and Warren, MI.

The investments are expected to have a positive effect on employment. The $2 billion investment is on top of the 9,000 jobs made or kept in the U.S. since the middle of 2009 because of a $3.4 billion investment.

In 1942, the Bedford facility opened. It is currently one of the top aluminum die casting facilities worldwide. Bedford makes use of an aluminum die cast procedure to make transmission casings and converter housings that will be used for the new fuel efficient six speed transmissions.

Press Release

GM Bedford Powertrain to Get $49 Million Investment

General Motors will invest $49 million to purchase tooling and equipment for the Bedford powertrain plant to produce components for a recently announced 8-speed transmission and a future small engine program. The investment will create or retain 91 jobs.

“The all-new 8-speed transmission will improve fuel economy in a number of future vehicles,” GM Manufacturing Manager Arvin Jones said Wednesday. "And, the new gasoline engine, which will be offered in displacements from 1.0 liters to 1.5 liters, is key to fuel economy leadership in the small four-cylinder engine segment."

The Bedford announcement is part of the $2 billion in U.S. investment that GM communicated for 17 facilities in eight states on May 10. Facilities in Bowling Green, Ky.; Arlington, Tex.; Toledo, Ohio; and Bay City, Detroit, Flint, Lansing and Warren, MI also received investments that will positively impact employment. This builds on the $3.4 billion invested and 9,000 jobs created or retained in the United States since mid-2009.

The Bedford investment is primarily for manufacturing machinery, equipment and special tooling for the current facility. The plant, which opened in 1942, is one of the leading aluminum die casting facilities in the world. Bedford uses an aluminum die cast process to manufacture transmission casings and converter housings for the new fuel efficient six speed transmissions.

“We appreciate the tremendous support we have received from the Bedford community over the years,” Jones said. “This investment is possible because of the teamwork between GM, the UAW, the IBEW, the Bedford community and the great State of Indiana.”

Bedford currently has 405 hourly and salaried employees.

“The hard work and dedication of the members of UAW Local 440 has made the Bedford plant one of the leading aluminum die-casting facilities in the world,” said Joe Ashton, UAW vice president-GM Department. “This investment will retain jobs that are vital to Bedford’s economy and represents GM’s commitment to manufacturing in America.”

Paul Green, business manager for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 16, added: "This announcement is the result of the hard work and dedication of Bedford IBEW members in building quality products for our customers. It is good news for our members, the community and the future of U.S. manufacturing."

About General Motors

General Motors (NYSE: GM, TSX: GMM), one of the world’s largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 202,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in more than 120 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 30 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Baojun, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Daewoo, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall, and Wuling. GM’s largest national market is China, followed by the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, and Italy. GM’s OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services.

Topics: gm, investment

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