FLINT, MI – General Motors Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner announced the company will invest $370 million in the U.S. to build a new manufacturing plant for its global four-cylinder engines in Flint, Mich. The plant will begin production in the U.S. in 2010, and will be the exclusive manufacturing facility in North America to produce the Chevrolet Volt's range extending engine.
The investment in Flint is one of several that have been announced at U.S. plants in the past 10 years, adding up to more than a $9 billion total investment in Michigan and more than $42 billion in the United States.
"GM, the UAW, and the City of Flint have had a long-standing relationship," Wagoner said. "Based on the capability and the commitment of the men and women who will work here, the tradition and leadership from UAW Local 599, the tremendous automotive heritage that underlies this region, and the strong partnerships we enjoy with local, state, and federal governments...we are confident that Flint is exactly the right place to build our all-new powertrain plant."
The investment includes construction of the new 552,000-square-foot plant, machinery, equipment, and special tooling to support production of the new four-cylinder engines. In addition to the $349 million facility investment, GM will invest an additional $21 million for vendor tooling to support the new Flint operations. Construction on the new facility is slated to begin immediately, with completion in 2010. The project will retain about 300 hourly jobs.
Two engines will be built at the new facility. A 1.4L turbo for the Chevrolet Cruze and 1.4L naturally aspirated engine for the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle (E-REV), will be new members of an engine family already deployed successfully around the world, primarily in Europe. The engines will play a key role in GM's plan to double global production of small four-cylinder engines by 2011, with more than half of that increase coming from North America.
Tom Stephens, GM executive vice president of Global Powertrain and Global Quality spoke to the role the 1.4L turbo will play in the company's line-up. "The new 1.4L turbo for the Chevrolet Cruze highlights GM's global commitment to offering engines that provide outstanding fuel efficiency without compromising vehicle performance," he said. "The new 1.4L turbocharged engine has the power of a larger engine, but retains the efficiency of a small-displacement four-cylinder. And with this engine, we expect the Cruze to be a fuel economy leader in its segment when it's introduced in early 2010."
Within the new engine plant will be GM Powertrain's most flexible and competitive engine assembly lines in the world, with approximately 300 highly flexible stations that will allow assembly of multiple four-cylinder engine families without retooling. The plant will be a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified facility, the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. The plant will also be landfill-free, meaning no waste from manufacturing operations will go to landfills, but will be recycled, reused, or converted to energy, proving the plant will be as environmentally sound as the products it manufactures.