In this 2011 photo GM Saginaw Metal Casting employee Quentin Wright handles a fourcylinder aluminum block casting Reports indicate the automaker will add a new casting process to produce powertrain parts John F Martin photo for General Motors

In this 2011 photo, GM Saginaw Metal Casting employee Quentin Wright handles a four-cylinder aluminum block casting. Reports indicate the automaker will add a new casting process to produce powertrain parts. (John F. Martin photo for General Motors)

GM Adds Saginaw Metal Casting to Project List

Automaker pledges $356 million to three Michigan plants ahead of new engine program Aluminum foundry to cast powertrain parts New jobs added, more retained Project schedules unreleased

Following the recent news of its plan to invest $127 million for improvements to the Bedford, IN, aluminum foundry, General Motors reported it will invest more than $356 million to build a new engine manufacturing line at the Flint, MI, powertrain plant, as well as the driveline and powertrain components plants in Saginaw and Grand Rapids, MI. The net effect will establish over 50 jobs at the three plants, and to help retain nearly 500 positions.

GM’s announcement was timed to coincide with news of a new agreement with a state-financed business development program funded with tax credit. As part of its agreement, GM committed to invest $1 billion in Michigan by 2030. The Flint, Grand Rapids, and Saginaw projects represent more than one-third of that total, according to the automaker.

Currently, GM’s Saginaw aluminum foundry operation casts aluminum engine blocks and cylinder heads in different configurations using green sand molding, lost foam casting, precision sand casting. The new investment will total $50 million to prepare for new driveline component casting. A United Auto Workers union official said the changes would involve a new casting process for Saginaw.

At Flint, GM is set to invest $263 million in advance of a new engine program. At Grand Rapids, the $43.35-million project will prepare for a production of new powertrain parts.

No schedules or project details were provided, but the OEM committed to describe the engine programs and vehicle platforms to be affected at some future date.

“These investments will better position GM and its work force to produce high quality engines and components for customers who demand greater fuel efficiency and performance from our vehicles,” stated Bill Shaw, manufacturing manager for GM North America.

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