• May 13, 2011


General Motors has announced that it is investing $109 million to support production of its 1.4-liter Ecotec engine in Michigan. This will create (or protect) 96 jobs at The General's manufacturing facilities in the cities of Flint and Bay City.

In Flint, $84 million will be used to increase production capacity of the engine, while in Bay City, the remaining $25 million will go towards increasing production of the connecting rods and camshafts used in the 1.4-liter mill.

Currently, GM uses the 1.4-liter engine in both the Cruze and Volt, the former of which adds a turbocharger. Later this year, the 1.4 will find its way under the hood of the new Aveo Sonic subcompact. Follow the jump for GM's official release.
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GM Investing $109 Million to Keep or Add 96 Michigan Jobs

- Flint and Bay City, Mich., get second expansion in six months
- Part of $2 billion GM will spend at 17 U.S. plants in eight states
- Supports More 1.4L Ecotec Engine Production for Chevrolet Volt, Cruze and Sonic

DETROIT – General Motors will invest $109 million in its operations in Flint and Bay City, Mich., to support engine production for current and future fuel-efficient small cars produced for the U.S. market. The investment will protect or add 96 jobs at the two sites.

"This investment marks the second major increase in engine and engine component output in less than six months - a sign that GM is moving quickly to meet growing demand for more fuel-efficient cars," said Terri Burden, Flint Engine Operations plant manager.

In November 2010, GM announced plans to invest $151 million and protect 143 jobs at the Flint and Bay City plants. The latest investment is part of a $2 billion investment to create or retain more than 4,000 hourly and salaried jobs at 17 facilities in eight states.

"This additional GM investment in the Ecotec engine is a testament to all the UAW Local 599 members who have worked so hard to make the 1.4-liter engine America's first choice," said Terry Everman, chairman of UAW Local 599 at Flint Engine Operations.

Of the $109 million, $84 million will be used at Flint to increase 1.4-liter engine capacity. Bay City's investment of $25 million is for connecting rods and camshafts used in the engine.

"I am very excited on behalf of all of our employees here at the Bay City Plant about our announcement today and very thankful for the cooperation and support from the community," said Joe Mazzeo, Bay City plant manager. "This announcement comes about in part because of our great team and the focus we place on delivering great products, an outstanding work ethic and an excellent working relationship between our union and management team."

Said Todd McDaniel, chairman of UAW Local 362 in Bay City: "Once again General Motors has recognized the hard work and dedication of our work force at Bay City. With this most recent addition to our previous announcements, we are one step closer to filling our plant with work. I feel very confident that it is just a matter of time."

The Ecotec 1.4-liter turbocharged engine for the Chevrolet Cruze Eco model helps achieve segment-leading EPA estimated 42 highway mpg. The 1.4-liter naturally aspirated engine enables range extension for the Chevrolet Volt electric car. After the battery is depleted, the on-board engine-generator creates additional electricity to power the car for hundreds of additional miles.

Later this year, the 1.4-liter engine will be installed in the Chevrolet Sonic, which will be built at GM's assembly plant in Orion Township, Mich.


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  • 21 Comments
      Renaurd
      • 3 Years Ago
      I drove one of these little cars and much to my surprise it was fun, rode and drove well, and had pep, I liked it. What surprised me most was the car is quiet. I am looking for a small econo drive, and I'm considering this car.
      longeye
      • 3 Years Ago
      Glad to see the investment in Michigan. The engine is a tiny thing but if it is used in proper power to weight ratio situations or if it is used to power a generator then it should do its job. However, it needs to be free of engineering and manufacturing defects.
      _M7_
      • 3 Years Ago
      wajajajajja too much money on CRAP**Y engines I still laught when I see one trying to pass gas emisions XD
        • 3 Years Ago
        @_M7_
        [blocked]
      Robert Kyle
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is exactly what domestic auto manufacturs need to do. Invest in high MPG tech. the Bush/Obama bailout of GM, pressuring them to invest in small cars instead of Escalades and Trucks, and the requirement to raise CAFE...all good things.
        Dave
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Robert Kyle
        This engine was planned long before the Obama administration.
          autoplaybook
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dave
          While I agree that this vehicle was mooted long before Obama (and its predecessor was on sale before was on the ballot for Senator in Illinois), and therefore the Obama admin didn't pressure them to build anything, the fact remains that the Sonic's production IN AMERICA wasn't mooted until they received their part of the $25B plant reconversion loan from the Obama Admin.
        autoplaybook
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Robert Kyle
        Ever heard of the Aveo? It went on sale in the US before Obama was even a Senator. Before CAFE was raised. Before fuel prices flew to $3/gallon the first time. And CAFE is idiotic.
        Brokenarrow
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Robert Kyle
        GM has been working on producing smaller cars since the gas prices went up and people stopped wanting to buy big suvs that got 12mpg just to go grocery shopping. The first gen ecotec was available in cavaliers and sunfires in 03 and gm has been improving the engine ever since, which is why the cobalt xfe got some best in class epa mpg ratings when they built it(before bush/obama pressured anyone to do anything). GM isn't making quality small cars because of pressures, they are making them because gas is getting expensive in the us and big thirsty ones are going out of favor.
      SheldonRoss
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hmmm, maybe GM can do something with the 1.4, but for right now it's too small and offsets any efficiency by having to work the turbo too much in the Cruze at least. Real world fuel economy is terrible. Of the GM boys will downrank me for this, but look at the the recent MT and C&D comparos. The Cruze got the worst observed fuel economy in both.
        Dave
        • 3 Years Ago
        @SheldonRoss
        I drove one last week and my "real world mileage" on the highway at an average speed of 76 mph was 36mpg. That's pretty good.
      artandcolour2010
      • 3 Years Ago
      AB: why the snarky Aveo crossout? We all know what the Sonic is. I'm glad to see any investment in USA production facilities. This one is small, in the relative scheme of things, but positive investment is still positive investment.
      mikoprivat
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love how the Cruze looks, performs and handels. It's a marvelous car...GM did a fantastic job using their global resources to put such a jewel of a car on the market. After the global success of this car, I hope the American consumer will appreciate what they have available to them
      Tom Paul
      • 3 Years Ago
      More PR bullshit. How stupid is the American Public?
      CaptPugwash
      • 3 Years Ago
      The real story that is completely missed by all the journalists is, that while the parade of Union, Company and Political figures faced the TV cameras, talking about the importance of buying US made, there is a team of Japanese engineers working on the Japanese machines GM has bought as part of the first expansion, the same team that will get huge pieces of this next expansion.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
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