General Motors announced today that it will spend $230 million on four facilities in the Flint, Michigan area that will support the production of the new Chevy Cruze compact and the Volt extended-range EV. The biggest chunk of the money ($202 million) is being spent on the Flint South Engine plant. The line that currently builds the inline five- and six-cylinder engines used in the Chevrolet Colorado and Hummer H3 is being revamped. That line will now build the 1.4-liter Family 0 engines that will be used in the Cruze and Volt. Originally, GM had planned to construct a new factory adjacent to Flint South, but that plan was canceled last fall as the financial crisis hit the already embattled automaker.
The Flint Metal Center a few miles away is getting updates that will allow it to stamp the sheet steel body panels for the Volt. The other two facilities are designing and building the stamping dies and welding robots that will be used to produce the panels and put them together at the Detroit-Hamtramck (Volt) and Lordstown,Ohio (Cruze) factories. GM's official press release is after the jump.
[Source: General Motors]
GM Plants in Greater Flint Area Tool Up for 2011 Chevrolet Cruze and Volt
GM is investing more than $230 million in four greater Flint, Mich. plants to support production of the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze and Volt
FLINT, Mich. - General Motors Company is investing more than $230 million in four GM plants in the greater Flint area to support the production of the fuel-efficient 2011 Chevrolet Cruze and Volt, representing more than 500 jobs. The four GM plants include Flint Engine South, Flint Metal Center, Flint Tool & Die and Grand Blanc Weld Tool Center.
"These four GM manufacturing plants have a key role in GM's production of the next generation of fuel-efficient vehicles, the Chevrolet Volt and Cruze," said Larry Zahner, GM manufacturing manager. "The men and women at these plants are working hard to exceed their quality and cost objectives while maintaining a relentless focus on safety and improved efficiency."
The four manufacturing plants have also made significant progress in reducing their impact on the environment. The plants recycle more than 97 percent of the waste they generate. Materials recycled during the last year include 12 tons of batteries, 47,000 tons of scrap metal, 616 tons of oil, 229 tons of wood and 74 tons of plastic paper.
Key activities performed by the four plants include development of automated equipment and tooling for the Chevy Cruze and Volt assembly plants, die development and stamping of body panels and other components and the manufacturing and assembly of key powertrain components including the 1.4L four-cylinder engine generator for the Volt and the 1.4L four-cylinder turbo engine for the Cruze.
* Flint Engine South: General Motors Company is investing $202 million in Flint Engine South to renovate the former I5/I6 manufacturing operations for production of a 1.4L four-cylinder engine generator for the Chevrolet Volt and a 1.4L four-cylinder turbo engine for the Cruze. The project represents approximately 240 employees.
* Flint Metal Center: General Motors Company is investing $1.7 million in Flint Metal Center to refurbish press lines that will produce sheet metal stampings for the Volt, representing 30 jobs.
* Flint Tool and Die: This facility designed dies for the Chevrolet Cruze and is responsible for the construction and tryout of stamping die sets for the Volt program. All dies for the Chevy Volt were engineered at Flint Tool & Die. Approximately 50 percent of dies for the Volt were designed at this facility.
* Grand Blanc Weld Tool Center: General Motors Company is investing approximately $30 million in this facility to build the robotic weld tool cells that will assemble the Volt body at the Volt assembly plant. Approximately 250 employees are working on this project, including 60 who are installing the weld tool equipment at the assembly plant. Grand Blanc Weld Tool Center also built the robotic weld tool cells for the body shop to assemble the Chevrolet Cruze at Lordstown (Ohio) Assembly.
The fuel-efficient Chevrolet Cruze, which is scheduled to launch next spring, is Chevy's all-new global compact car. The Cruze will be powered by a 1.4L four-cylinder turbo engine and is expected to deliver better fuel economy than the current leader in the segment, the Chevrolet Cobalt XFE, rated at 37 mpg highway.
The Chevrolet Volt, which is scheduled to start production in late 2010 as a 2011 model, will be GM's first extended-range electric vehicle. The Volt can travel up to 40 miles on electricity from a single battery charge and can extend its overall range to more than 300 miles with its flex fuel-powered 1.4L engine-generator, which will be produced at Flint Engine South.
About General Motors: General Motors, one of the world's largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 219,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in some 140 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 34 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM's largest national market is the United States, followed by China, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia and Germany. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. General Motors acquired operations from General Motors Corporation on July 10, 2009, and references to prior periods in this and other press materials refer to operations of the old General Motors Corporation. More information on the new General Motors can be found at www.gm.com.