General Motors (GM), Detroit, announced it will make a $163.2-million investment in three manufacturing plants, including $12.2 million in the Defiance, Ohio, metalcasting facility.
The balance of the investment will be in the engine facility in Flint, Mich. ($138.3 million), and the component maker in Bay City, Mich. ($12.7 million). The spending is intended to support engine production for the Chevrolet Volt, Chevrolet Cruze and a new, small Chevrolet to be built in the U.S.
The $12.2 million outlay at Defiance will be used to boost production of engine block and crankshaft castings. The three investments are expected to protect 184 jobs at the manufacturing sites.
“This investment is essential in ensuring we can meet the expected high demand for [these models],” said Kathleen Dilworth, Flint Engine Operations plant manager. “These three facilities will continue to play a key role in GM’s resurgence and efforts to bring to market vehicles with segment-leading fuel economy.”
Since emerging from bankruptcy in July 2009, GM has invested more than $3.3 billion in U.S. facilities and created or retained more than 8,000 jobs in 21 U.S. plants. The company announced a $59 million investment at the Defiance metalcasting facility in April.
The latest round of investments will be used to support increased production of the Ecotec 1.4-liter engines used in the Cruze and a 1.4-L variant used in the Volt. Flint Engine is expected to start production of 400 engines a day in early 2011 and ramp up to 800 engines a day in late 2011.