General Motors announced a new round of capital investments for four U.S. plants, totaling $918 million, mainly for the production launch of a new, small block V-8 engine but also to increase output of GM’s battery electric vehicle (EV) products. The automaker emphasized that these investments confirm its “commitment to continue providing customers a strong portfolio of ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles well into the future, while continuing to accelerate its transformation to an all-electric future.”
The new V-8 will be the sixth generation of that engine series, the first update since 2013. GM did not offer design details for the new engine but noted that it will be installed in full-size pickup trucks and SUVs.
General Motors has invested lavishly in preparation for its new EV products – reportedly committing $35 billion to its planned electric and autonomous vehicle programs between 2020 and 2025, including three new joint-venture plants to assemble its Ultium battery packs.
The GM foundry and machining complex at Defiance, Ohio, will draw $55 million in new investments, to prepare for casting the new V-8 engine blocks, as well as some other products for EVs. The Defiance foundry casts aluminum inline four-cylinder, V-6, and V-8 engine blocks and inline four-cylinder heads for a range of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac models, and it has drawn $187 million in capital investments over the past 10 years, according to GM.
GM’s Flint (Mich.) Engine Operations will gain more than half of the new investment round – $579 million – in preparation for producing the new V-8 engine there, including machining for engine blocks, cranks, and heads. The expansion effort will begin immediately, according to the announcement.
The Flint plant will continue building the 3.0-liter turbo-diesel engines for light-duty trucks as the new installations are ongoing.
Another $216 million is targeted for GM’s Bay City (MI) Global Propulsion Systems plant, to produce camshafts and connecting rods, and machine engine blocks and heads for the new V-8.
GM’s Rochester, NY, plant will draw $68 million to produce intake manifolds and fuel rails for the new V-8 engine, and to produce battery-pack cooling lines for EVs.
“The investments, coupled with the hard work and dedication of our team members in Flint, Bay City, Rochester, and Defiance, enable us to build world-class products for our customers and provide job security at these plants for years to come,” stated GM’s executive vice president of Global Manufacturing and Sustainability, Gerald Johnson.