GM will invest $65 million in existing engine plants in New York and Tennessee

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 20, 2011

A total of $65 million will be invested by General Motors in two currently open engine plants in New York and Tennessee. Of this figure, $33 million will be for the Tonawanda plant close to Buffalo, N.Y. This will save or add 100 jobs. The $32 million will go to the Spring Hill plant in Tennessee, located about 30 miles south of Nashville, keeping or creating 63 jobs. A majority of the New York jobs will be filled by workers who had been laid off.

Currently, the Tonawanda plant has 83 workers on lay off, an improvement over the 179 workers that were laid off after GM’s bankruptcy in 2009. GM didn’t provide further details about how many were laid off in Tennessee.

These investments are included in GM’s $2 billion plan revealed in May that would save or create 4,000 jobs in 17 plants in eight U.S. states. GM spokeswoman Mary Ann Brown said that the $33 million allotted for New York comes after the 2010 investment of $825 million in that plant.

These plants will produce fuel-economic 2.4-liter "Ecotec" four-cylinder engines for Chevrolet cars and crossover SUVs such as the Chevrolet Malibu sedan, GMC Terrain crossover, and Equinox crossover. For the month of May, the top-selling car in the U.S. was the Malibu.

However, it fell behind two pickup truck lines: Ford Motor Co.’s F-series and the Chevrolet Silverado. According to Steve Finch, Tonawanda plant general manager, there are now 850 workers at the plant. He added by next spring, the laid-off workers will be called back.

The investments on Spring Hill and Tonawanda were made possible due to the U.S. manufacturing investment in the amount of $2 billion. This was announced on May 10 and the goal was to create, or even retain, an estimated 4,000 jobs under 17 facilities in 8 states. GM had invested starting in July 2009, a total of $3.4 million for its manufacturing facilities in the U.S., and allowing them to add or keep at least 9,000 jobs.

UAW vice president-GM Department Joe Ashton relates that with the price of gas becoming more and more unstable, and if GM was to remain competitive, it has to invest in new powertrains. Customers will always want vehicles that deliver great gas mileage, he added, and its members have more than proven that they can create advanced products that can surpass the expectations of its customers. In addition, GM also revealed Friday that the aluminum casting to be used to the Ecotec 2.4-liter engine will be exported from the Saginaw Metal Casting Operations.

This engine is the same one that powers the Chevrolet Captiva and the Opel Antara, both released in the Asian market. As a result, the Saginaw project will result in the creation or retention of 53 jobs. Known as one of the largest car manufacturers in the world, General Motors (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM), had its beginnings as early as 1908. At present, its headquarters is located in Detroit and the company has an estimated 202,000 employees in almost every region worldwide and conducts business with at least 120 countries.

GM, with its partners, manufactures cars and trucks in 30 different countries. It then sells and services these vehicles through these brands which are the Buick, GMC, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Vauxhall, Holden, Opel, Isuzu, Baojun, Jiefang, Wuling, and Daewoo. For GM, its largest market continues to be China, followed by the U.S., Brazil, U.K., Germany, Canada, and then Italy. Its OnStar subsidiary remains to be the leader when it comes to information services, security, and safety. To know more about General Motors, visit www.gm.com.

Press Release

Demand for Four-Cylinder Engines Drives Plant Investments

Additional need for Ecotec four-cylinder engines used in Chevrolet's fuel-efficient cars and crossovers, including the all-new 2013 Malibu, is driving $65 million in new investment at plants in New York and Tennessee that will create or retain 163 jobs.

"GM is committed to investing in manufacturing and jobs in the U.S.," said Cathy Clegg, vice president Labor Relations. "These investments in powertrain manufacturing technology will help us meet the growing needs of our customers for high quality, fuel efficient vehicles - both today and in the future."

In Tonawanda, N.Y., additional capacity is being added for engines used in the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain crossovers that achieve 32 mpg on the highway and can travel up to 600 miles between fill-ups. GM is investing $33 million that will create or retain 100 jobs.

In Spring Hill, Tenn., the engine plant is adding capacity for direct-injection four-cylinder engines to support the acceleration of the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu. GM Is investing $32 million that will create or retain 63 positions.

The next-generation Malibu is scheduled to start production in early 2012. It will be sold in about 100 countries on six continents. Chevrolet will begin sales in the United States with the Eco, the most fuel-efficient Malibu ever. It features GM's 2.4L Ecotec with eAssist technology. Malibu will debut an all-new 2.5L Ecotec engine next summer. The new Malibu will be assembled at the Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas City, Kan., and Detroit-Hamtramck plant in the United States, as well as other plants around the world.

"With gas prices becoming increasingly unstable, investment in new powertrains is vital if GM wants to be competitive," said Joe Ashton, UAW vice president-GM Department. "Our customers want vehicles that get great gas mileage and our members have proven they can build innovative products that exceed our customers' expectations."

The Tonawanda and Spring Hill investments are part of $2 billion in U.S. manufacturing investment GM announced May 10 that will create or retain 4,000 jobs in 17 facilities in eight states. These investments are in addition to $3.4 million GM has invested in U.S. manufacturing facilities since July 2009, adding or retaining more than 9,000 jobs.

Additionally, GM announced Friday the Saginaw Metal Casting Operations will export aluminum castings for the lightweight Ecotec 2.4L engine that is used in fuel-efficient vehicles like the Opel Antara and Chevrolet Captiva in Asia. The Saginaw work will create or retain 53 jobs.

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. More information on the new General Motors can be found at www.gm.com.

Topics: gm, investment

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