Rayong, Thailand – General Motors is investing US$445 million to build an engine plant and upgrade an existing vehicle assembly plant, according to an announcement by GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner.

The new 14,492-square-metre facility will be GM’s first diesel engine plant in Southeast Asia, and will provide four-cylinder diesel engines for use by Chevrolet in Thailand and other global markets and brands. Construction began yesterday with the ceremonial pouring of the facility’s first cement pillar.

The investment also includes engineering development work and retooling of the Rayong vehicle assembly plant for production of the next-generation Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck, which is sold in Thailand and exported around the world.

The engine plant, which is scheduled to begin production in 2010, will initially employ 340 workers and have the capacity to manufacture more than 100,000 2.5- and 2.8-litre turbodiesel engines annually. The next-generation Colorado will be among the first applications.  The clean diesel engines were designed and developed by GM and VM Motori S.p.A., a diesel engine designer and manufacturer based in Cento, Italy. GM purchased a 50 per cent equity stake in VM Motori in 2007 to form a joint venture with Penske Corporation.

The Rayong diesel engine plant will be located adjacent to the Rayong vehicle assembly plant, which opened in 2000, employs more than 2,000 workers and builds the Chevrolet Colorado, Aveo, Optra, Estate and Capitva.

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