GM is ready to expand production with $1.2 billion investment

  • Article by: NATHAN BOMEY , Detroit Free Press
  • Updated: December 16, 2013 - 8:40 PM

The major expansion plan were met by cheers and a standing ovation from UAW workers in Michigan.

Outgoing GM CEO Dan Akerson spoke at the National Press Club in Washington on Monday.

 

– General Motors will invest more than $1.2 billion at several factories in a wide-ranging plan to include production of what could be the industry’s first 10-speed automatic transmission.

“These investments are a sign of our confidence in our workforce and our UAW partners that have given and tried so hard and in our vehicles and the continued demand for excellence in each one of these products,” GM North America President Mark Reuss told dozens of cheering workers in Flint on Monday.

The investments were announced as outgoing GM CEO Dan Akerson spoke Monday at the National Press Club in Washington about the company’s progress under his three-year tenure. Akerson will hand the CEO reins to Mary Barra, the company’s senior vice president for product development, on Jan. 15.

The automaker said it will invest $600 million at its Flint assembly plant, $493 million at its Romulus, Mich., powertrain operations facility and $121 million at its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant.

Along with a $31 million capacity expansion at its Toledo, Ohio, transmission operations facility and a $29 million expansion of its Bedford, Ind., castings plant, the investments will “create or retain” about 1,000 jobs, GM said in a statement.

The firm did not say how many positions are new jobs. It said it has created or retained more than 26,500 U.S. jobs since filing Chapter 11 ­in 2009.

At the 3.7 million-square-foot Flint assembly plant — where about 2,800 workers make heavy-duty pickups — the company will spend $600 million on facility upgrades, including a new paint shop.

“You earned this,” Reuss told UAW workers at the Flint plant, who broke into a standing ovation.

In Romulus, GM will establish a production line to build a new 10-speed automatic transmission. GM did not specify what vehicle would get the new transmission. GM and Ford have been collaborating on development of nine- and 10-speed transmissions to improve driving and boost fuel economy.

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