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General Motors Co. is investing $483 million in the development of its current and next-generation Ecotec four-cylinder engines at its Spring Hill, TN, powertrain plant. The automaker plans to almost 500 jobs at the nearly 7 million-square-foot facility, which was formerly used for the production of the Saturn line of vehicles.
The expansion brings GM’s entire U.S. investment to about $2.9 billion since it emerged from bankruptcy in July of last year. In that time, the company has announced that it is adding or retaining more than 7,400 jobs in 20 plants. Other recent actions included expansions in Tonawanda, NY; Defiance, OH; and Bay City MI; investments that are expected to create a total of about 550 positions.
Many of the new hires in Spring Hill will actually be former employees recalled from layoff in accordance with the United Auto Workers-GM National Labor Agreement.
“This new commitment to the Spring Hill team will help GM almost triple its North American production volume of four-cylinder engines with direct injection by 2012,” said Mark Reuss, president of GM North America.
Reuss explained that demand is high for advanced powertrains that offer high fuel economy and strong performance. The Spring Hill plant currently produces three types of Ecotec engine: the Ecotec 2.4L with direct injection (DI), the Ecotec 2.0L DI Turbo and the Ecotec 2.4L Multiport Fuel Injection.
GM is spending $23 million to add 30 new jobs in first quarter 2011 for the production of the current-generation Ecotec. The remaining $460 million – and the other 453 jobs – are planned for the production of the next-generation Ecotec.