Officially Official: Volt, Cruze Engine Production Goes To Flint

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

We pretty much knew this was coming when we heard that Michigan’s Economic Growth Authority approved state tax breaks for GM, but now it’s officially official. Insurance News Net has the full press release announcing GM’s $370m investment in a Flint plant to build small four-cylinder engines. The engines will be used in the Volt as range extender, and will power the Cruze in turbocharged form. Flint will become GM Powertrain’s “most flexible and competitive engine assembly lines in the world, with approximately 300 highly flexible stations that will allow assembly of multiple 4-cylinder engine families without retooling,” according to the General’s press release. The 552,000 square foot plan will be LEED certified and will operate as a landfill-free facility when it opens in 2010. Too bad it won’t retain more than 300 jobs, especially considering the state of Michigan will forgo $122.5m in tax revenue to attract the project. But hey, that’s a small price to pay to have blighted Flint associated with the immense Volt hype, right?

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Oldyak Oldyak on Sep 25, 2008

    Its a start! that's whats OUR industry needs!

  • Blindfaith Blindfaith on Sep 25, 2008

    blindfaith- do you know that those things cannot be made in the US or are you guessing? Detroit had 95% (now it is probably 10% ) of the tool/die and machine tool manufacturing until the cost reduction in these products were implemented. They now are generally bought through Japan or Germany. Go through a factory and look at the machine tool and die manufactures names Siemans and other names I cannot spell. "Cincinnati Lamb is one company. They are a combination of two old US tooling companies. They built the engine line for Hyundai in Alabama." "Built, engineered and desiged"or assembled. My friends that are engineering project managers say assembled is a good definition. And the US part is 10%. They spend a good part of their time in Germany and Japan working out the details. By the way, is Cross still around.

  • Robert Schwartz Robert Schwartz on Sep 25, 2008

    Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance, a partnership of Chrysler, Mitsubishi, and Hyundai built two engine factories in Dundee, MI, which opened in 2005/2006 for $803 million. The plant can produce up to 840,000 4-cyl. engines a year and employs about 600 workers. The GM plant sounds like it is maybe the same sort of operation with one factory. If the American market is 16 million vehicles a year and we assume that all of the engines are made in the USA, 40 plants employing about 12,000 people could supply it. I would be curious to know similar information about transmission plants, stamping plants, assembly plants and other major types of automotive plants. I suspect that if we looked at the whole industry on this basis we would find out that the total employment in a restructured industry would be be a fraction of what it was a generation ago.

  • Campisi Campisi on Sep 26, 2008
    "I’m still questioning GM’s usage of the 1.4L in the Volt. In GM’s global capacity they don’t have a smaller engine that can handle higher RPM’s (to charge the batter while the car is driving)? ah ha! They’re using the same engine for both cars. Booooo!" I have no source to cite for this (oh, the shame!), but I was told that the 1.4l was deemed cheaper to manufacture than the 1.0l three-cylinder engine the Volt Concept originally called for. Plus, use of the 1.4l spreads the cost of the engine out over more of their product range. They could always go with a smaller range extender in the next Volt or a Volt 1.5, if they so choose.