• Flint and Bay City, Michigan, and Defiance, Ohio, plants get additional casting and component work
  • Supports additional engine production for Chevrolet Volt, Cruze and future small Chevy 
Bay City Powertrain plant manager Joe Mazzeo (left) and Flint Powertrain plant manager Kathleen Dilworth pose with 1.4-litre engines their plants will soon be producing

Bay City Powertrain plant manager Joe Mazzeo (left) and Flint Powertrain plant manager Kathleen Dilworth pose with 1.4-litre engines their plants will soon be producing

General Motors last night announced a US$163.2m investment in its operations in Flint and Bay City, Michigan, and Defiance, Ohio, to support engine production for the Chevrolet Volt and Cruze and a new Chevy small car to be built in the United States. The investment will protect 184 jobs at the three sites, the automaker said.

The investments include: $138.3 million and 135 jobs at Flint Engine Operations; $12.7m and eight jobs at Bay City components and $12.2mi and 41 jobs at Defiance castings to support increased production of the Ecotec 1.4-litre engines used in the Cruze and Volt.

The engines are currently imported from Europe but Flint Engine is expected to start production of 400 a day in early 2011 and ramp up to 800 late in the year. The latest investment increases capacity to 1,200 a day in late 2012.

Bay City will increase connecting rod and camshaft production and Defiance will boost output of engine block and crankshaft castings.

In less than two years, GM has invested nearly $700m and protected more than 600 jobs at the three facilities.

"This investment is essential in ensuring we can meet the expected high demand for the [three cars]," said Kathleen Dilworth, Flint engine 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."

The announcement brings the total of new US investment to over $3.3bn, and GM claims to have created or retained over 8,000 jobs in 21 US plants since emerging from bankruptcy in July 2009.

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