The local and state political and union glitterati, along with top GM executives like Rick Wagoner, John Buttermore and Tom Stephens, are gathered here in Flint, MI today for the official announcement of General Motors' newest engine plant. GM is spending $370 million to build a new 552,000-square foot factory on the Flint South engine complex. The new 1.4L four cylinders will be built in turbocharged and normally aspirated forms producing 140 hp and 100 hp respectively. The former will be used in the U.S. market version of the Chevy Cruze starting in early 2010. The non-turbo variant will be connected to a generator to propel the 2011 Chevy Volt once it uses up its 40-mile battery range. In the Cruze, the the new engine is expected to produce highway fuel economy of up to 45 mpg. GM will be holding a technical briefing on the new engines shortly and we'll have a full write up later this afternoon on AutoblogGreen.
[Source: General Motors]
GM Announces $370 Million Investment for New Small Engine Manufacturing in North America
New GM engines will power Chevrolet Cruze and electrify Chevy Volt New, highly flexible manufacturing facility is planned
FLINT , Mich. – General Motors Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner today announced that the company will invest $370 million in the U.S. to build a new manufacturing plant for its global 4-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 over 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."
"We are proud that General Motors has chosen Michigan as the best place to develop and produce the revolutionary Chevy Volt and other next-generation vehicles and components," Governor Jennifer M. Granholm said. "Our competitive business climate, outstanding workforce and aggressive strategy to diversify our economy put us in a strong position to win this project and be the state that helps GM produce the cars and trucks that will help end our nation's dependence on foreign oil."
The investment includes construction of the new 552,000 square foot plant, machinery, equipment and special tooling to support production of the new 4-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 1.4-liter turbo for the Chevrolet Cruze and 1.4-liter 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 1.4-liter 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. 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 4-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. And the plant will 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.
General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest automaker, has been the annual global industry sales leader for 77 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 266,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 35 countries. In 2007, nearly 9.37 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.