GM Cancels New Small-Engine Plant

Family 0 to be built in updated Flint, MI, venue


General Motors still plans to manufacture its new global engine platform — a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine for the Chevrolet Cruze and a 1.4-liter naturally aspirated engine for the Chevy Volt extended-range electric vehicle (E-REV) — but it will not build a new manufacturing plant for the series. Last fall, GM said it would build a $370 million plant in Flint, MI, to manufacture the “Family 0” engines, with production to start in 2010. It was to be the exclusive manufacturing facility in North America for these products.

Four-cylinder aluminum blocks for these products will be cast at GM Powertrain’s Saginaw (MI) Metal Casting operation. The automaker has said both models are critical elements of its plan to double its global production of smaller engines by 2011, more than half of which expansion is planned in North America.

Now, however, GM says it will invest approximately $250 million to manufacture Family 0 using existing and available floor space in the current Flint South engine plant. Preparations will begin this spring to install new machinery and equipment at the plant, and production of the 1.4-liter engines is targeted to begin in December 2010.

The automaker adds that once Family 0 engines are in production, “Flint South will be GM's most flexible and competitive engine manufacturing lines in the world, with approximately 150 highly flexible stations that will allow production of multiple 4-cylinder engine families without retooling.”

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