GM Will Invest $163.2 Million for Small Engines

Things are looking up at GM's Flint Engine Operations where the automaker announced plans to invest $138.3 million and protect 135 jobs. It's part of $163.2 million being invested to support small engines production for the Chevrolet Volt, Chevrolet Cruze and a new small Chevrolet being built in the U.S.

More Chevrolets Need Small Engines

In addition to Flint, $12.7 million is being invested in the Bay City, Mich., connecting rod and camshaft production operations and $12.2 million at the Defiance, Ohio, castings plant. In less than two years, GM has invested nearly $700 million and protected more than 600 jobs at the three facilities.

The new small model is the Chevrolet Spark. According to Aaron Gold of Cars.About.Com, it goes on sale in Europe and Asia in 2010 and should arrive in the US in 2011 as a 2012 model. It will be smaller and less expensive than the current Aveo.

The investments will be used to support increased production of the Ecotec 1.4-liter turbocharged engine (pictured below) that is used in the Chevrolet Cruze and a 1.4-liter variant used in the Chevrolet Volt. 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. The newest investment increases its capacity to 1,200 a day in late 2012.

“This investment is essential in ensuring we can meet the expected high demand for the Chevrolet Volt, Chevrolet Cruze and a small car that will be produced at our Orion Township facility,” said Kathleen Dilworth, Flint Engine Operations plant manager in a news release. “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.”

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