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2011 Chevy Cruze and its new 1.4L Turbo engine

The bad news just keeps on coming for General Motors and Flint, Michigan. It was reported late last night that construction contracts for the new $370 million engine plant that was going up in Flint have been canceled. GM actually stopped work on the project in early December. The plant was to produce the new 1.4-liter four cylinder engine for the 2011 Chevy Cruze and Volt. GM spokeswoman Sharon Basel told AutoblogGreen that the intention all along had been for engines for the early production runs of the Cruze and Volt to be supplied from a European facility that already builds variants of GM's so-called "Family 0" powertrains. The Flint plant would not have been ready for start of production of Cruze next spring.

With the continuing financial crisis and weak sales, GM's European factory has enough capacity to supply Cruze and Volt for a time so that the automaker can conserve capital. The timing of construction was reaching a point where GM would have had to commit to spending millions of additional dollars that it doesn't have right now. Therefore, the company has opted to cancel the contracts and put the plant on hold until the situation improves. In the meantime, both vehicle programs are still on schedule and otherwise unaffected by these moves.

[Source: WJRT-TV 12, AutoblogGreen]


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  • 57 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      In case no one noticed, GM received $24B in bailout monies. Their monthly operating expenses are $12B. How long did you really think that money was going to last and how far did you think they would be able to stretch it?

      If anything, GM should be applauded by using common sense in utilizing existing production capacity to ensure the Cruze stays on schedule and not squander non-existent funds on a redundant engine plant.

      Besides, according to autoblogging intelligentsia, everything produced in Europe is better than anything made in the US, so this should only make the Cruze a better vehicle.
      • 6 Years Ago
      O No! We suck again!!!
        • 6 Years Ago
        It really bugs me that every one thinks Flint is just one F'ing place on a map like Hiroshima. just destroy it and move on. Ask your self a question. Have you ever lived in flint. If you answered yes your input is valuable and insightful having first hand living in what it's like. If you answered NO, please keep your comments about how bad it is, or how much it is just a hole to you self. This town has people who have every right to leave when they feel like. I left and I came back I very much love this town. I understand, Yes it is in the crapper as far as an economic prosperity goes. It is trying to change it's image and appearance to be more inviting as a college town, as much as I think our mayor is as dirty as a meth head after 3 weeks without a shower. I believe he or the other people who run this city are trying to change which is better than what I can say about some of the other places I have lived.
        • 6 Years Ago
        JDMlover: It's 'Prius', and the Volt is a completely different standpoint on hybrid technology than the Prius is. So, no, it's not here now. You have something, but it's not the Volt. Turns out Chevy and Saturn already have something similar to the Prius, only without the undeserved sense of elitism. The thing that you and countless others seem to miss is that the mules are out and the powertrain works. People haven driven in it. People, even certain people who blog on this site, trash the Chrysler EVs for the same thing, but journalists have driven those, too, and they are real. Maybe they're just bitter that they haven't been able to yet.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The "Problem" at GM headquarters (and almost every other automaker right now, in terms of % drop) is that they have enough factories to spit out 9-10 million vehicles a year and now they can only sell 6-7 million, if that. Why build new factories when others are being idled due to lack of sales?
      • 6 Years Ago
      another GM fail- made in america my ass.

      im tired of this BS buy american patriotism that the big 3 shoves down our throat when all their new products aren't even designed or built here

      also, how can the camaro be an american icon when it was freakin designed in australia and built in mexico? arrrriba!
        • 6 Years Ago
        GM still builds an amazingly large lot of cars in the US. Also, their R&D is mostly here in the US and so are many of their suppliers.

        GM has a FAR greater impact on the US economy than any other car company, period.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The manufacturing positions are here for all the car companies. The difference is the development design and management. Those are based in the US for the big 3. Not the like the foreign companies which still have all of those higher paying positions located elsewhere. If you believe trickle down economics the big three have a much greater impact on the US economy than the foreign transplants.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Volt will never see a showroom since it cannot possibly be profitable. Only government tree-hugging money will help it survive, which it shouldn't.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Seems like a smart move to me. If they have enough engines they have enough engines.

      And I cannot see why any company in their right mind would add production capacity in Flint right now. The production costs are still poor due to the UAW stranglehold and worse yet, if things do turn around for GM, the UAW will strike until they get "their piece of the pie".

      Never forget when the UAW selected Flint Metal Fab (literally right next door to this site) as their strike target in the 90s (the 2nd last big UAW strike) because it was the easiest way to cripple GM. Don't forget GM had to smuggle the dies out of that plant to safety (or perhaps to stamp a few parts with them) because the UAW somehow had this idea that these dies belonged to them and shouldn't be moved.

      It is strategically stupid to put critical parts of projects (remember how important the Volt is) into the hands of a group who frequently acts as your enemy. Smarter to locate them in other states with much friendlier work climates.

      And Losty: I was born and raised less than 2 miles from this plant.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I took a good 20 second look at the photo thinking "that's a weird looking cut away shot of the engine bay................................. NEVER MIND...."
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yeah I don't see what the big deal is, Autoblog. BREAKING! Umm...the car is still on track, they have more than ample supply of engines from other locations. I think this website is becoming more like a tabloid now.
      • 6 Years Ago
      From the desk of the Flint Mayor:

      OK plan B, Lets rebuild Autoworld, thats gotta work.

      The Michigan motto: Get up, dust yourself off, move on only to get kicked in the nuts again.

      • 6 Years Ago
      No more aid for GM. I think this is a PR stunt to get more aid by holding workers American's hostage. Sure they can't continue the US plant, but they can make the engines in Europe. LOL

      If this is true GM==Terrorist
        • 6 Years Ago
        Did you finish high school?
        • 6 Years Ago
        "Did you finish high school?"

        I think you're giving him too much credit.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Would anyone really be surprised if GM will say they will not build Cruze or the Volt?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Zamafir, i really think that Cruze arguably speaking is the MOST important vehicle in GMs history. It needs to be executed correctly.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Cruze? Yes, it's a car they need to build, they need cheaper cars with decent margin.

        Volt? No. Not at all. Most non GM fanbois have been leaning towards vapor since it's introduction. In terms of a business case, it doesn't make sense to bring a $40,000 unproven bit of tech to market, esp when you don't have the right brand name to simply back it up (toyota could do it under lexus because they started the rabid hybrid phenomenon). If it's not brought to fruition though, it'll be a waste of close to $1,000,000,000 in terms of the R&D GM's burning through for it. Which also, wouldn't come as any surprise.

        If the Volt and Cruze don't make it GM will really need new management to get the company back on viable terms (if, indeed, that's possible).
        • 6 Years Ago
        I don't think so.
        • 6 Years Ago
        What do you think they will move forward with, more body on frame SUVs?

        I would put the Cruze at about a 95% go and the Volt at about 60-70%, so yes, I would be surprised if they didn't build them. And if the EPA allows California to set fuel mileage requirements (which will set a de facto standard for the rest of us), these may be part of the volume leaders for GM (well, at least the Cruze).

      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow! I'm surprised by the overreaction to this. I laughed when I saw "BREAKING," thinking I was going to read about GM declaring bankruptcy. Most industries are downsizing and GM needs to continue to do so. They should not be building new facilities but retooling old ones.
      • 6 Years Ago
      WOW......oh well




      Can i have my Pruis or Insight now?

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