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GM invests $918M at Flint, other facilities for small block V-8, EV programs


Flint — General Motors Co. is investing $918 million across four U.S. facilities with $854 million going to support production of the company’s sixth-generation small block V-8 engine and an additional $64 million for electric-vehicle programs, the automaker said Friday. 

GM is investing the most, $579 million, at its Flint Engine plant for production of the sixth-generation small-block V-8. Work will start immediately for the new production while Flint Engine continues building the 3.0-liter diesel engine. 

The Detroit automaker is investing $216 million at its Bay City plant to support Flint Engine’s V-8 production. The plant will make camshafts, connecting rods and other parts for the new engine. 

At its Defiance, Ohio, aluminum foundry and machining center, GM is investing a total of $55 million with $47 million for production of engine block castings. The plant will get another $8 million to build a casting development cell for castings to support future EVs. 

GM’s Rochester, New York, components plant is receiving a $68 million investment with $12 million to support production of intake manifolds and fuel rails for Flint’s V-8 engine production. The automaker is also spending $56 million at Rochester for production of battery pack cooling lines to support future EVs.

GM didn't specify when production of the V-8 engines would start in Flint. The engines "will strengthen our industry-leading lineup of full-size pickups and SUVs," said Gerald Johnson, GM executive vice president of global manufacturing and sustainability, in a statement. Specific products that will use the V-8 weren't revealed.

GM's Tonawanda Engine plant in Buffalo builds the fifth generation V-8 and will continue to do so "until further notice," GM spokesperson Dan Flores said in a statement.

"With all of the renovation work that needs to be done to prepare Flint Engine to build the company’s sixth-generation V-8 engine, GM will continue to produce Gen 5 V-8 engines for several years," he added. "We have nothing further to share related to Tonawanda, but it is a great plant staffed by hard working, dedicated people and it's an important part of our manufacturing footprint."

GM's investment at Flint "represents the return of the small block to Flint manufacturing where it originally was," Johnson told plant workers at Friday's event. This engine "has a storied history from 1955 all the way to today and you guys will be responsible for building the next generation of that historic engine. And I'm glad that it's going to be here and I'm glad that you guys are the ones who are going to build it for us."

Friday's investment will retain more than 2,000 jobs across the four facilities.

"Investments such as today's makes our members' jobs more secure, and ensures that these facilities will carry on supporting future generations of UAW members," UAW President Ray Curry said. "Once again, today is a good day for UAW members. And it happened because our members made GM successful yesterday, made GM successful today and will definitely make GM successful tomorrow."

khall@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @bykaleahall