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GM plant upgrades to preserve 1,600 jobs

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GM plant upgrades to preserve 1,600 jobs



General Motors is to unveil a plan today to spend $890 million to upgrade five North American factories for the next generation of V8 engines, the latest set of factory upgrades in the automaker's recovery.

The move follows GM's announcement last week that it would invest $257 million for a new version of the Chevrolet Malibu, along with the payoff of $5.8 billion in government loans.

GM North America President Mark Reuss said the automaker was running close to 100% capacity, one of its top goals following bankruptcy.

The largest investment will go to GM's Tonawanda, N.Y., factory, where the automaker plans to spend $400 million to build a next-generation V8 engine. Earlier this year, GM announced a $425-million investment in the plant to build new four-cylinder engines. Last week, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., lobbied GM to expand the V8 and V6 lines at the plant as well.

The automaker also plans to spend $32 million to update its Bay City plant, $115 million for its Defiance, Ohio, factory; $111 million for Bedford, Ind., and $235 million in St. Catharines, Ontario. All build powertrain components.

"It's great news for our workforce and community," said Wayne Gates, president of Canadian Auto Workers Local 199.

One source said the Bay City expansion would add 14 jobs.

On Monday, the Indianapolis Star reported that state Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman plans to hold a news conference today at GM's Bedford plant. The aluminum foundry plant once employed more than 1,200 but now employs 366, the Star reported.

GM spokeswoman Kim Carpenter told the Free Press, "We are going to have media events at several of our manufacturing plants."



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GM to pump $890 million investment into engine plants

04/27/2010, 10:22 AM BY ANDREW GANZ

General Motors announced this morning that it intends to invest $890 million into five engine plants mostly in the Midwestern United States in an effort to install more efficient and higher-quality equipment.

GM says that the investment will “create or retain” around 1,600 jobs in its plants in Tonawanda, New York, St. Catharines, Ontario, Defiance, Ohio, Bedford, Indiana, and Bay City, Michigan.

The automaker’s plants in New York and Ontario build engines, while its three Midwestern facilities are used for casting and producing components.

The five plants will work together on creating the automaker’s more efficient next-generation small block engine family, which will feature direct injection, aluminum engine blocks and E85 capability.



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