Flint, Michigan – General Motors chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner has announced that the company will invest US$370 million in the U.S. to build a new manufacturing plant for its global four-cylinder engines in Flint, Michigan. The plant will begin production in 2010, and will be the exclusive manufacturing facility in North America to produce the Chevrolet Volt’s range-extending engine.

“GM, the UAW and the City of Flint have had a long-standing relationship,” Wagoner said. “Based on the capability and the commitment of the men and women who will work here, the tradition and leadership from UAW Local 599, the tremendous automotive heritage that underlies this region, and the strong partnerships we enjoy with local, state and federal governments, we are confident that Flint is exactly the right place to build our all-new powertrain plant.”

The investment includes construction of the plant, machinery, equipment and special tooling. In addition to the US$349 million facility investment, GM will invest an additional US$21 million for vendor tooling to support the new operations. Construction is slated to begin immediately, with completion in 2010. The project retains about 300 hourly jobs.

The plant will build a 1.4-litre turbocharged engine for the Chevrolet Cruze, and 1.4-litre naturally-aspirated engine for the Chevrolet Volt. These will be new members of an engine family already in use successfully around the world, primarily in Europe. The engines will play a key role in GM’s plan to double global production of small four-cylinder engines by 2011, with more than half of that increase coming from North America.

One-third of GM’s North American engine volume will be four-cylinders by 2011, and 21 per cent of those will be turbocharged, a seven-fold increase over today’s volume of turbo engines.

The plant will contain GM Powertrain’s most flexible and competitive engine assembly lines in the world, with approximately 300 flexible stations that will allow assembly of multiple four-cylinder engine families without retooling. The plant will be a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified facility, and will be landfill-free.

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