To upgrade five of its factories in North America, General Motors Co. will be investing $893 million, according to three insider sources who asked to remain unanimous. This investment, which will be manufacturing engines, transmissions and other powertrain parts, will save 1,600 jobs.
The factories that will be getting the funding are the following: Tonawanda, N.Y.; Bay City, Mich.; Bedford, Ind.; Defiance, Ohio; and St. Catharines, Ontario. The Tonawanda plant will get the largest share of this investment.
GM spokeswoman Kim Carpenter said that the company will soon make the announcements but she declined to provide details. GM is raising its funds for fuel-efficient engines in order to meet the stricter standards that governments are imposing.
The demand for vehicles with an improved gasoline mileage is rising as fuel prices keep increasing and as governments push for lowered carbon emissions. Michael Robinet, vice president at research firm CSM Worldwide in Northville, Michigan, said that powertrain technology will be a major differentiator and that "heavy investment and improved fuel economy will be on every company's agenda."
"GM is investing in our plants, restoring and creating jobs and making progress toward our vision of designing, building and selling the world's best vehicles," said Mark Reuss, president of GM North America. "These latest investments show our commitment to improving fuel economy for buyers of every GM car, truck and crossover and giving them the best possible driving and ownership experience."