General Motors has announced that it plans to invest $49 million in the company's Bedford, Indiana manufacturing facility. The cash will go towards purchasing the tooling and equipment necessary to build a new eight-speed automatic transmission as well as a range of small-displacement engines. GM isn't saying exactly where we can expect to see the new eight-speed auto, but we do know that the engine program will turn out four-cylinder mills from 1.0 to 1.5 liters. You can probably bet that forced induction will be part of that party, too.
The move is part of a greater $ 2 billion investment program currently underway, with funds headed to a number of plants, including Bowling Green, Arlington, Toledo, Bay City, Flint, Lansing and Warren.
GM says that the Bedford funds will create or retain a total of 91 jobs at the plant, which currently has 405 salaried workers. Hit the jump for the full press release.
Investment will create or retain 91 jobs to support new transmission, engine programs
BEDFORD, Ind. – General Motors will invest $49 million to purchase tooling and equipment for the Bedford powertrain plant to produce components for a recently announced 8-speed transmission and a future small engine program. The investment will create or retain 91 jobs.
"The all-new 8-speed transmission will improve fuel economy in a number of future vehicles," GM Manufacturing Manager Arvin Jones said Wednesday. "And, the new gasoline engine, which will be offered in displacements from 1.0 liters to 1.5 liters, is key to fuel economy leadership in the small four-cylinder engine segment."
The Bedford announcement is part of the $2 billion in U.S. investment that GM communicated for 17 facilities in eight states on May 10. Facilities in Bowling Green, Ky.; Arlington, Tex.; Toledo, Ohio; and Bay City, Detroit, Flint, Lansing and Warren, MI also received investments that will positively impact employment. This builds on the $3.4 billion invested and 9,000 jobs created or retained in the United States since mid-2009.
The Bedford investment is primarily for manufacturing machinery, equipment and special tooling for the current facility. The plant, which opened in 1942, is one of the leading aluminum die casting facilities in the world. Bedford uses an aluminum die cast process to manufacture transmission casings and converter housings for the new fuel efficient six speed transmissions.
"We appreciate the tremendous support we have received from the Bedford community over the years," Jones said. "This investment is possible because of the teamwork between GM, the UAW, the IBEW, the Bedford community and the great State of Indiana."
Bedford currently has 405 hourly and salaried employees.
"The hard work and dedication of the members of UAW Local 440 has made the Bedford plant one of the leading aluminum die-casting facilities in the world," said Joe Ashton, UAW vice president-GM Department. "This investment will retain jobs that are vital to Bedford's economy and represents GM's commitment to manufacturing in America."
Paul Green, business manager for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 16, added: "This announcement is the result of the hard work and dedication of Bedford IBEW members in building quality products for our customers. It is good news for our members, the community and the future of U.S. manufacturing."