General Motors will invest more than $494 million and create nearly 550 jobs in three U.S. plants to produce the next generation fuel efficient Ecotec engine. The project consists of the following:
- Tonawanda -- $425 million site investment will add capacity for the next generation Ecotec engine at 370,000 per year and bring about 470 jobs to that community
- Defiance – $59 million site investment will support precision sand cast block at a capacity of 188,000 annually and result in about 80 jobs to that community
- Bay City – $10.5 million site investment will bring new product to the plant (Ecotec connecting rod) and will create about 15 jobs for that plant
The investment includes facility renovation, new machinery, equipment and special tooling to support this engine program at the three plants.
“GM is transforming its product portfolio to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, and the next generation Ecotec engine is an integral part of that transformation,” said Denise Johnson, vice president – labor relations. “The investment in state-of-the-art four-cylinder engines is another example of GM’s commitment to replace larger-displacement engines with more compact, advanced four-cylinder engines that optimize fuel savings and performance. We look forward to working with our union partners at these three plants to make this investment a success.”
The investment in Tonawanda, supported by the investments at Defiance and Bay City, will go toward producing two next-generation Ecotec engines. The new engines will have additional capabilities to improve fuel efficiency and improve performance through advanced design and by adding technology.
The Ecotec engine family is known for its reliability, fuel efficiency and performance. GM Ecotec engines have been on the forefront of delivering leading edge technology including direct injection, variable valve timing and turbocharging. Direct fuel injection, a hallmark of many Ecotec engines since 2007, is just now becoming mainstream technology in the industry.
The current Ecotec 2.4L with direct injection and variable valve timing in the Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain was recently recognized as one of Ward’s Auto World magazine’s 2010 “Ten Best Engines” for North America based on several factors, including power, fuel efficiency and new technology. The Ecotec is currently available in 2.0L, 2.2L and 2.4L displacements.
“This investment is important because it supports manufacturing in the United States,” said Cal Rapson, vice president and director, UAW International Union. “All three plants have a strong reputation for building quality and focusing on the needs of our customers.”
For competitive reasons, specifics about the engine capabilities as well as product applications will be shared at a later date.