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GM to announce $163M investment in Flint, Bay City, Ohio plants


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GM to announce $163M investment in Flint, Bay City, Ohio plants

Christina Rogers / The Detroit News

General Motors Co. is expected to announce Wednesday it's investing $163 million in three manufacturing plants - two in Michigan and one in Ohio - to expand engine production for its Chevrolet Volt, Cruze and new small car, The Detroit News has learned.

The investment will retain 184 jobs at plants in Flint, Bay City and Defiance, Ohio, said a person briefed on the matter. GM declined to comment, but has scheduled "a powertrain announcement at Flint Engine Operations," Wednesday morning.

In Flint, GM will invest $138 million to ramp up production of its 1.4-liter engine for the Cruze and Volt, retaining 135 jobs. The plant also will build a 1.4-liter engine for the small Chevy, an as-yet unnamed successor to the Aveo. Production on that vehicle starts next year at Orion Assembly, but hasn't been named.

The Detroit automaker will begin increasing production at Flint Engine in 2011, expanding engine production to 1,200 a day.

GM will invest $12.7 million in its Bay City powertrain plant to retain eight jobs and another $12.2 million in Defiance, Ohio to keep 41 jobs.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20101123/AUTO01/11230407/GM-to-announce-$163M-investment-in-Flint--Bay-City--Ohio-plants#ixzz16AHQh4B1

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GM to announce investment in Michigan plants on Wednesday

BY GREG GARDNER

FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

General Motors is expected on Wednesday to announce an investment of more than $160 million at plants in Flint, Bay City and Defiance, Ohio, tied to expanded production of its fuel-efficient 1.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine.

Most of the investment to be outlined will go into the Flint South engine plant, where production will be increased to 1,200 engines a day early next year, up 50% from previously announced plans, according to a UAW official familiar with the plan.

The investment will preserve about 105 jobs in Flint, about eight in Bay City and an unspecified number in Defiance, where GM produces cylinder blocks and crankshafts for the Ecotec engine, a person with knowledge of the planning said.

The 1.4-liter engine is the standard engine in the Chevrolet Cruze, and a turbocharged version of the engine recently went into production that can achieve 40 miles per gallon in highway driving.

The Ecotec engine is also mated with the battery-pack that powers the Chevrolet Volt. GM also plans to use it in the redesigned Chevrolet Aveo, scheduled to launch next year at the automaker’s Orion Township assembly plant.

The investment announcement comes as GM tries to keep excitement alive about its re-launch as a publicly traded company.

GM shares fell to $33.25 today, just 25 cents above their initial offering price last Thursday. The market suffered broadly as investors fretted about the artillery exchange between North and South Korea and ongoing concerns over spreading European debt problems.

In all, trading of GM shares slowed today, with slightly less than 31 million shares changed hands.

Separately, billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal today disclosed that he bought about 1% percent of GM’s common shares for $500 million because of his confidence that GM will continue growing, especially in China and Brazil.

Prince Alwaleed, the world’s 19th richest person, joins GM partner SAIC Motor Corp. as the second investor to buy 1% of the automaker.

Alwaleed’s Kingdom Holdings, has significant stakes in Citicorp, News Corp., Disney, Time Warner, Saks Fifth Avenue and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.

Read more: GM to announce investment in Michigan plants on Wednesday | freep.com | Detroit Free Press http://www.freep.com/article/20101123/BUSINESS0101/101123020/GM-to-announce-investment-in-Michigan-plants-on-Wednesday#ixzz16AJno6vY

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