GM commits $202 million for Chevy Volt engine plant

Automotive News reports on GM's investment in retrofitting a plant to build engines for the Chevy Volt.

Automotive News

DETROIT -- General Motors Co. will spend $202 million to renovate its Flint Engine South factory to build 1.4-liter four-cylinder engines for the highly anticipated Chevrolet Volt--and for a small car that likely will be even more crucial to Chevy's future success, the Cruze.

The automaker also will spend about $28 million on three other plants in the Flint, Mich., area to help build the 2011 Cruze compact and the Volt.

Chevy Volt
A 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine will power a generator to create electricity for the motor that propels the Chevrolet Volt, above, and will drive the Chevy Cruze. Automotive News

GM is scheduled to launch the Cruze next spring. Production of the Volt, a plug-in hybrid sedan, is scheduled to start in November 2010.

The Flint engine plant will produce 40 engines per day when production starts late next year. Output will rise to 800 engines a day by fall 2011, GM officials said.

The engine for the Cruze will be turbocharged. The Volt's engine, which will power a generator to create electricity for the motor that propels the car, will not be turbocharged.

The initial batch of engines for the Chevy Volt will be imported from a GM plant in Aspern, Austria, until the revamped Flint plant begins production.

The other GM plants that will be updated and retooled are the Flint Metal Center, Flint Tool and Die and Grand Blanc Weld Tool Center.

GM says the key functions at the plants will include development of automated equipment and tooling for the Cruze and Volt assembly plants. The Cruze will be assembled at Lordstown, Ohio, and the Volt at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant.

The operations will develop dies and stamp body panels and components for Lordstown and Detroit-Hamtramck.

GM is spending about $30 million on the Grand Blanc plant to build robotic weld tool cells that will assemble the Volt body at Detroit-Hamtramck.

(Source: Automotive News)

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