Five plants in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio to share capital improvements for engine, transmission production.
By Robert Brooks 12/16/13
A General Motors worker operating a high-pressure aluminum diecasting machine producing transmission parts at Bedford, IN. GM photo/AJ Mast
General Motors outlined plans to invest almost $1.3 billion more at five GM Powertrain plants in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, part of a continuing capital program supporting new engines and transmissions. GM noted the announcement brings this year’s investments in its domestic operations to $2.8 billion.
GM also said the new capital program would support its vehicle quality improvement programs and streamline logistics. Specific investment plans were not announced.
Many of the investments are directed at GM’s new 10-speed automatic transmission and new V6 engine. The automaker said these new products would be detailed at a later date.
Among the plants targeted for the new is the aluminum melting, diecasting, and permanent mold foundry at Bedford, IN, where GM casts small engine blocks, transmission casings, and converter housings. Earlier this year, Bedford was identified as the site of a $29.4 million investment program to install capacity for GM’s new small gas engine, and new 8-speed and existing 6-speed transmissions.
Now, Bedford Castings is due for $22.6 million more, to add capacity to produce GM’s 10-speed transmission, and $6.6 million for producing components for the 6-speed transmission.
Bedford now has 486 hourly and 116 salaried employees, and GM estimated 40 new or retained jobs would result from the investments. Plant manager Eric Gonzalez said the program “signifies a commitment to the men and women of Bedford Powertrain and their dedication to build the best Engine and Transmissions in the world.”
The other four plants in line for new investment are the Flint (MI) Assembly plant, where $600 million will support general site updates, and addition of a new paint shop; the Romulus (MI) Powertrain plant, where $493.4 million are in line to prepare for producing the new 10-speed automatic transmission, and to increase capacity for a new V6 engine; the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant in Michigan, $121 million will develop a new logistics optimization center; and t
In total, GM predicted the new investments would “create or retain” about 1,000 jobs across the five sites.
“GM is committed to a strong American manufacturing base and creating jobs in dozens of communities throughout the country. Today’s announced plant upgrades continue the momentum of a resurgent auto industry,” stated GM executive vice president and North America president Mark Reuss. “More importantly, these investments add up to higher quality and more fuel-efficient vehicles for our customers.”
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