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GM to invest $109 million in Michigan engine facilities

General Motors has been in the news quite a bit lately for announcements of improvements to plants around the US and today, GM has announced that they will invest $109 million in their Flint and Bay City facilities to help meet growing demand for their more fuel-efficient models.

This is the second major investment by GM in the Flint and Bay City plants as in November 2010, the General spent $151 million on those two facilities along with another $12.2 million on the engine block plant in Defiance, Ohio. The financial moves made late last year helped to preserve 143 jobs and the recent announcement will help to preserve or add 96 jobs in Michigan.

The Flint Engine Operations facility builds the 1.4L Ecotec engine for the Chevrolet Cruze, Volt and upcoming Sonic; while the Bay City facility produces components for use at the Flint plant. A turbocharged version of this engine powers the Chevy Cruze and a naturally aspirated 1.4L Ecotec helps to extend the range of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt. The rapidly rising cost of gas prices have caused increased demand for highly fuel efficient vehicles like the Cruze and Volt, thus causing more demand for the 4-cylinder engines built in Flint so to prevent any shortages, GM has made the move to increase output.

Of the total $109 million investment recently announced, $84 million is earmarked to increase production of the 1.4L Ecotec engine in Flint and the remaining $25 million intended for Bay City will help increase the production of the connecting rods and camshafts for the Ecotec. This $109 million is another part of the $2 billion recently pledged by GM to plants around the nation as the company continues to improve sales both in the domestic and global markets.

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