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GM to invest $47 million In Defiance casting facility

General Motors has announced that they intend to invest $47 million in their Defiance, Ohio casting facility to prepare the plant for increased output of components of the popular 1.4L 4-cylinder Ecotec and the next generation small block V8.

This $47 million investment in the Defiance Powertrain Plant will allow General Motors to purchase the equipment and perform the tooling to allow the facility to increase their output of the components of 1.4L 4-cylinder Ecotec as well as the upcoming next generation GM small block V8s. Defiance produced an impressive 5.8 million parts in 2010 and with these investments, GM expects to see that number increase on the heels of this sizable investment.

The Defiance facility currently casts cylinder heads, cylinder blocks and crankshafts for the 1.4L Ecotec 4-cyinder which is currently found in the new Chevrolet Cruze and Chevrolet Volt, as well as the upcoming Chevy Sonic (the replacement for the Aveo). The Cruze has been selling very well, quickly becoming one of the General’s bestselling models and with the intended ramping up of production for the Chevy Volt combined with GM’s hopes that the Chevy Sonic is more popular than the Chevy Aveo – the automaker expects for the demand for these fuel efficient engines to grow quite a bit over the next year or so.

In addition to the increase in 1.4L Ecotec component production, this $47 million investment will allow Defiance to cast components for the next generation small block V8. While the company hasn’t offered many details on this new line of V8 engines, we can expect to see it used in both cars and trucks – using their fuel saving technology to combine the power of a traditional V8 with improved fuel economy to compete with the likes of Ford’s 5.0 and Chrysler’s 5.7L Hemi.

Joe Ashton, UAW VP of their GM brand offered the following comment in the wake of this announcement:
“The members of UAW Local 211 have played an active role in building a strong partnership with management at the Defiance plant. It is in places like Defiance that GM should be investing so that the American dream of living a middle-class lifestyle can be fulfilled.”

This $47 million investment in the Defiance Powertrain Plant is a part of the $2 billion pledge by GM slated for plants around the country over the next year.

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