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GM Ecotec Engine Hits 3 million Mark at Spring Hill Plant

GM is touting the fact that its General Motor Spring Hill powertrain plant produced its 3-millionth Ecotec engine this week but the bigger story is really the fact that is has produced 1 million of the engines in the last 30 months alone.

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Investments of $55 million to meet consumer demand for more fuel-efficient engines helped General Motors Spring Hill powertrain plant produce its 3-millionth Ecotec engine this week, just 2½ years after the 2 millionth engine was assembled, according to a GM news release.

“The investment in the Spring Hill engine plant is allowing us to meet the growing needs of customers for high-quality, fuel-efficient vehicles,” said GM Spring Hill Complex Manager Ken Knight. “Consumers and critics love these engines for their fuel efficiency and power. In 2010 and 2012, WardsAuto named the engines we manufacture one of the ‘10 Best Engines’ for North America.”

The 3-millionth engine will power the all-new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco. Similar engines built at Spring Hill power the Chevrolet Equinox crossover, the Buick Regal luxury sport sedan, the Buick Verano luxury sedan and the GMC Terrain small SUV.

The GM Spring Hill Manufacturing facility is located in Spring Hill, Tenn. It was best known as the Saturn plant for many years until that brand folded in 2007. Currently, the 6.9 million sq. ft. site manufacturing operations consist of an engine plant making 4-cylinder engines, a stamping plant, two polymer injection molding operations and one painting operation for bumper fascias that covers 2100 acres.

These manufactured engines and other components are supplied to various GM assembly plants across the globe. On Nov. 21, 2011, GM announced that it would reopen the assembly plant as one of the world’s most flexible manufacturing facilities capable of building any GM car or crossover based on customer demand or manufacturing need. It will begin producing the hot-selling Chevrolet Equinox during the second half of 2012.

GM Spring Hill currently manufactures the Ecotec 2.0L turbocharged direct injection 4-cylinder engine and the Ecotec 2.4L direct injection 4-cylinder engine. Later this year, Spring Hill will begin producing the all-new Ecotec 2.5L engine, which will debut on the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu midsize sedan.

The Ecotec 2.0L Turbocharged DI 4-cylinder is used in Opel Insignia (Europe), Cadillac SLS (China), Saab (Sweden), Buick Regal, and Fisker Karma (Finland). The Ecotec 2.4L DI 4-cylinder is used in the Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain, Buick LaCrosse, Buick Regal, Buick Verano, Chevrolet Captiva (Mexico), Daewoo Alpheon (Korea), Chevrolet Cruze (Korea), and Chevrolet Orlando (Korea).

A new Ecotec new 2.5L will be available next summer, marking the debut of the all-new Ecotec engine family. Increased efficiency was the top development priority, achieved in part through lower engine friction. It was reduced by an average of 16 percent across the entire speed range, using new technologies such as a variable-displacement oil pump and an actively controlled thermostat. GM proprietary computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis techniques were used to develop an all-new combustion system with a higher compression ratio, which also helped boost efficiency.

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