General Motors will be investing $200 million into its Global Powertrain Engineering Headquarters to make a new 138,000 sq.-ft. test wing, which is likely to be finished in the second half of 2014. This plan is included in GM’s pledge to invest $1.5 billion in its North American plants in 2013. Due to this expansion, the company will be able to consolidate work that’s accomplished at four sites remote to the Pontiac campus.
This helps to lessen development timing for GM’s next-gen advanced propulsion technologies. As soon as these moves are carried out, this means that GM will have created 400 jobs at the Pontiac campus. According to this expansion plan, the engineering development work that’s done at the leased plants in Wixom, Mich.; Castleton, Ind. and Torrance, Calif., will shift to Pontiac. In addition, GM R&D’s Propulsion Systems Research lab in Warren, Mich. will be shifted to the Pontiac campus.
In a previous announcement, GM said that work completed at its hydrogen fuel cell plant in Honeoye Falls, N.Y., would be consolidated in Pontiac in the middle of 2013. Sam Winegarden, GM vice president of Global Engine Engineering, said that these moves will aid its entire Powertrain team to be more effective throughout the organization to build up the powertrain technologies that it needs to produce the best vehicles in the world for its global customers.
Furthermore, the Performance Build Center, which is presently located at the Wixom facility, will transfer to GM’s Chevrolet Corvette assembly plant in Bowling Green, Ky., by the first quarter of 2014. The new test wing is included in GM’s Powertrain Development Center, which engineers use to offer advanced, fuel-saving powertrains to the market faster and more affordably since they take less development time.
This facility, with an area of 450,000 sq.-ft., is one of the biggest and most technically sophisticated powertrain development centers in the world. The high-tech facilities in the center enable engineers to test engines in severe conditions, which include cold ambient temperatures, high RPMs, and repetitive starting and stopping, to guarantee world-class durability, reliability and quality.