General Motors opens $200-million diesel engine factory in Thailand

On Friday, General Motors swung open the doors to its "state-of-the-art," $200-million diesel engine factory located in Thailand's eastern Rayong province. This facility is the U.S. automaker's first diesel production site in Southeast Asia and part of Thailand's push to become a bigger producer of eco-friendlier vehicles.

The factory, which sits adjacent to GM's vehicle manufacturing site, has a production capacity of approximately 120,000 diesel engines a year, says GM Southeast Asia president Martin Apfel. Initially, the Rayong facility will pump out 100,000 engines in 2012 before cranking up to full production capacity in 2013.

The General says the facility will manufacture Duramax four-cylinder diesel engines and that most of the Duramax engines will find a resting place in Chevrolet Colorado trucks, which will be made in Thailand and sold both domestically and abroad.

GM's outlay of cash for the diesel engine factory boosted its cumulative investment in Thailand to $1.3 billion since 1998.
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New US$200 Million Diesel Engine Facility Deepens GM's Manufacturing Footprint in Thailand and Southeast Asia

General Motors today opened a new state-of-the-art diesel engine plant in Rayong, Thailand. The USD 200 million (THB 6 billion) facility.


Rayong, Thailand – General Motors today opened a new state-of-the-art diesel engine plant in Rayong, Thailand. The USD 200 million (THB 6 billion) facility, which is adjacent to the automaker's vehicle manufacturing plant, represents GM's most significant powertrain investment in Southeast Asia.

The new 34-rai (54,275-square-meter) facility, GM's first diesel engine plant in the region, is the first-in-the-world to produce the all-new family of Duramax four-cylinder diesel engines.

The highly flexible plant has the capability to manufacture approximately 120,000 engines per year for use in vehicles built in Thailand and other global markets. GM expects to source USD 94 million (THB 2.8 billion) worth of Thai-built components for the production of engines at its Rayong facility, by 2012.

The first engines to be manufactured by the facility will be installed in the all-new Chevrolet Colorado pickup that will be produced in Rayong following engineering development work and retooling of the vehicle assembly line.

GM Thailand's new powertrain facility is a key component of the automaker's Southeast Asia growth strategy. GM's goal is to become a leading manufacturer of world-class vehicles and engines throughout the region.

The opening of the facility comes a month after GM announced that it will invest USD 150 million (THB 4.5 billion) in the reactivation of its Bekasi manufacturing facility in Indonesia for production of a new line of people movers for Southeast Asian markets. The new powertrain facility takes GM's investment in Thailand to USD 1.3 billion (THB 39 billion) since 1998.

GM Southeast Asia President Martin Apfel was joined by Dr. Witoon Simachokdee, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Government of Thailand, and Michael L. McGee, Commercial Counselor, U.S. Embassy Bangkok, for the inauguration of the new plant. GM Thailand employees, local GM dealers, suppliers and the media were also present.

"GM is committed to growing our footprint and business throughout Thailand and Southeast Asia," said Apfel. "Our engine plant will enable us to deliver on our promise of bringing cleaner, more efficient and higher-performance diesel engine technology to our customers."

He added, "Producing engines locally strengthens our commitment to the development of a strong Thai automotive industry, which can help guide the growth of the entire Southeast Asian region. It is also a sign of the excellent talent in the local industry and our faith in their capability."

High-Tech Manufacturing Facility

The new powertrain facility, which will have 500 employees by the end of the year, has a compact manufacturing footprint. It has adopted cutting-edge computer and laser-guided equipment to enhance precision and ensure high build quality. It is extremely flexible, with the ability to switch between production of 2.5-liter and 2.8-liter engine variants in line with changing market demand.

The plant has adopted technologies to keep the facility dust free and is fully climate controlled to manage humidity and create the most suitable environment for quality engine production.

GM Thailand has also employed advanced environmental-protection processes throughout the facility, including using lighting that consumes 40 percent less energy compared with regular systems.

Prior to opening, the facility was subjected to nine months of intense validation to help guarantee the optimum level of production and the best quality from day one.

Duramax Diesel Technology

The newly developed 2.5-liter and 2.8-liter diesel engines are the newest members of the Duramax truck-engine family. They feature overhead cams, turbocharging and durable aluminum cylinder heads for high levels of refinement and durability.

Designed to offer class-leading torque, reliability and excellent fuel economy, the four-cylinder Duramax engines were tested in extreme conditions in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America. They meet the advanced Euro IV emission standard and can be used in front-, rear- or all-wheel-drive applications.

Additionally, they were subjected to the same rigorous validation process as the Duramax 6.6-liter turbo diesel, which is sold primarily in North America. The larger Duramax engine is renowned for its high performance and enjoys a solid reputation for reliability and durability. More than 1.3 million Duramax 6.6-liter engines have been sold since 2001.

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About General Motors

General Motors (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM), one of the world's largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 202,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in more than 120 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 30 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Baojun, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Daewoo, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall, and Wuling. GM's largest national market is China, followed by the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, and Italy. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on the new General Motors can be found at

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