GM to Improve Buick LaCrosse Model
The investment is mainly to purchase manufacturing machinery, equipment and special tooling for the Fairfax facility.
eAssist helps in increasing highway fuel economy by 25 percent than the present model.
Opened in 1987, Fairfax Assembly plant has more than 3,900 employees, and is the home of LaCrosse and the Chevrolet Malibu. It operates in three shifts and produced 320,000 Malibus and LaCrosses in 2010.
The investment is part of the $2 billion investment in the US that GM has revealed for 17 facilities in eight states in May 2011.
Jim Glynn, manufacturing manager at GM, said: â€œThe LaCrosse has been critical to the resurgence of Buick, bringing many new customers to Buick showrooms. This investment to improve an already strong car will help us continue winning converts to the brand.
â€œWe appreciate the tremendous support we have received from the Kansas City community over the years. This investment is possible because of the teamwork between GM, the UAW, the Kansas City, Kansas community and the great State of Kansas.â€
In addition, GM ventures is planning to invest $6m in Proterra, a designer and manufacturer of heavy-duty electric drive systems.
GM Ventures is part of an investment group designed to help the company identify and develop innovative technologies in the automotive/transportation sector. It is led by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers that will invest a total of $30m in the bus manufacturer.
Founded in 2004, Proterraâ€™s EcoRide BE-35 battery electric bus has 24 mpg in service. The lightweight, composite-body bus recharges in about 10 minutes, developed using Proterra's technology.
The EcoRide BE-35 has a 40-mile range for the charge under 10-minute fast charge application, and can easily replace 80 percent of diesel buses in typical transit and shuttle use without altering schedules or passenger service. Charging at central locations will configure to longer ranges.
Jon Lauckner, president of GM Ventures, said: â€œThis equity investment further demonstrates GMâ€™s commitment to electric propulsion and supports our commitment to identify and invest in technology solutions that help advance the global transportation industry. While this investment will help Proterra commercialize its electric bus and fast-charging technology, it also helps to address the future challenges of urban mobility.â€
Will the move commercially benefit the firm?
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