GM Invests $332m for Fuel-Efficient Powertrains

by | Apr 5, 2013

General Motors has said it will invest about $332 million in four manufacturing sites to produce more fuel-efficient engines and transmissions.

The investments at plants in Flint and Bay City, Mich., Toledo, Ohio, and Bedford, Ind. will support production of a new Ecotec small gas engine, a new V6 engine, eight-speed transmission and tooling for an existing six-speed transmission.

The Ecotec engine will offer improved fuel economy, better performance and reduced carbon dioxide emissions, GM says. It is part of an engine family that could top 2 million engines a year by the end of the decade, based on production in Flint and other locations around the world, according to the automaker.

The eight-speed automatic transmission will assist in improved fuel economy and performance. GM says it will announce details about the new V6 engine program later.

GM also is increasing previously announced powertrain investment in plants in Romulus and Saginaw, Mich., to $646 million — an increase of $46 million — to support production of the V6 engine, the automaker says.

GM’s investments come a month after GM CEO and chairman Dan Akerson announced the company will save 12 billion gallons of fuel over the life of the vehicles it builds between 2011 and 2017 by reducing vehicle weight by up to 15 percent, along with other fuel efficiency improvements. The company has committed to achieving a 20 percent reduction per vehicle in global CO2 footprint by 2020.

GM’s newly announced $331.8 million investment includes:

  • $215 million in Flint Engine Operations for three- and four-cylinder variants of the Ecotec engine with displacements ranging from 1.0 to 1.5 liters. Details of what variants the plant will build will be announced later. The plant will also upgrade tooling for its current V6 engine.
  • $55.7 million in Toledo Transmission Operations for increased capacity and tooling to produce an advanced eight-speed automatic transmission and an existing six-speed transmission. The Toledo-based eight-speed will be used in numerous GM vehicles by the end of 2016.
  • $31.7 million in Bay City Powertrain including $19.2 million to produce components for a new V6 engine and $12.5 million to produce components for the Ecotec engine.
  • $29.4 million in Bedford Castings including $19 million to produce components for the small gas engine and $10.4 million to produce components for the new eight-speed and existing six-speed transmissions.

The additional $46 million brings the total to $646 million for the V6 project including:

  • A $41 million increase to $256 million for Saginaw Metal Castings Operations to produce castings for the new V6 engine.
  • A $5 million increase to $390 million for Romulus Engine Operations to build the new V6 engines.

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