GM to invest $163m in three plants

New plant, Flint Engine Operations, will start production early next year

General Motors (GM) plans to invest $163.2m in its operations at Flint and Bay City, Michigan, and Defiance, Ohio, to support engine production for the Chevrolet Volt, Chevrolet Cruze and a new Chevrolet small car to be built in the US.

The investments include: Flint Engine Operations: $138.3m and 135 jobs; Bay City components: $12.7m and eight jobs; Defiance castings: $12.2m and 41 jobs.

The investments will be used to support increased production of the Ecotec 1.4-liter engine that is used in the Chevrolet Cruze and a 1.4L variant used in the Chevrolet Volt.

With the latest investment, the total of new US investment comes to more than $3.3bn, and GM has created or retained more than 8,000 jobs in 21 US plants since emerging from bankruptcy in July 2009.

Flint Engine Operations plant manager Kathleen Dilworth said, this investment is essential in ensuring they can meet the expected high demand for the Chevrolet Volt, Chevrolet Cruze and a small car that will be produced at their Orion Township facility.

"These three facilities will continue to play a key role in GM's resurgence and efforts to bring to market vehicles with segment-leading fuel economy," Dilworth said.

Flint Engine is expected to start production of 400 engines a day in early 2011 and ramp up to 800 engines a day in late 2011 whereas Bay City will increase connecting rod and camshaft production and Defiance will increase output of engine block and crankshaft castings.