In order to build the next-generation Ecotec engine family in the U.S., General Motors announced today it is investing nearly $494 million to update three facilities.
“GM is transforming its product portfolio to reduce fuel consumption,” said Denise Johnson, GM’s vice president of labor relations. “The next-generation Ecotec engine is an integral part of that transformation.”
The single largest investment will be spent on GM’s engine assembly plant in Tonawanda, New York. Approximately $425 million will be spent on tooling the line to produce the new engines. To make nearly 370,000 engines annually, GM plans on creating 470 new jobs at the plant.
Additionally, GM is spending $59 million to upgrade its casting operations in Defiance, Ohio. The plant will be responsible for casting 188,000 Ecotec engine blocks annually, which will subsequently create an additional 80 jobs.
GM’s machining operations in Bay City, Michigan, will be given an injection of $10.5 million to add Ecotec connecting rods to its long list of products. The automaker estimates that 15 new jobs will be created as a result.
Few details on the new Ecotec range or its applications have been revealed, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see the new engine family used in GM’s midsize sedans and compact crossovers in the near future.
We imagine employees in Tonawanda are celebrating this announcement the most. Although the plant currently builds the 2.2- and 2.4-liter Ecotec I-4s, along with the Vortec I-4 and I-5 engines found in the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, the facility was once slated to build both a DOHC “Ultra” V-8, along with the Duramax 4.5-liter turbo-diesel V-8. Both projects were shelved in 2009.