GM Betting Big on Fuel Efficient Four-Cylinder Engines – Vows to Remain Competitive

By Jason Davis | June 21, 2011
Good news this week for residents of Tonawanda, New York and Spring Hill, Tennessee: more jobs! (Or, you aren’t losing the ones you have!) U.S. and international demand for General Motors’ fuel-efficient Ecotec four-cylinder engines have prompted the automaker to invest some $65 million in personnel and manufacturing technology for its engine plants in New York and Tennessee, which is part of the $2 billion GM announced last May that would create or retain up to 4,000 jobs at 17 facilities across the United States. At the Tonawanda, N.Y. plant, GM will spend $33 million to create or retain 100 jobs, in order to boost capacity for the engines used in the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain crossovers, which can get up to 32 MPG freeway when equipped with GM's 2.4-liter inline four cylinder.
In Spring Hill, Tennessee, GM is investing $32 million to create and retain 63 jobs, where adding capacity for the new engines will speed up production for the anticipated debut of the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu in early 2012. “These investments in powertrain manufacturing technology will help us meet the growing needs of our customers for high quality, fuel efficient vehicles - both today and in the future,” said Cathy Clegg, GM’s Vice President of Labor Relations. The next-generation Malibu, Chevy's popular midsized sedan which is assembled at the Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas City and at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant, among others, will come with GM's Ecotec2.4-liter four-cylinder with eAssist and will be sold in over 100 countries before rolling out with an all-new 2.5-liter mill the following summer. “With gas prices becoming increasingly unstable, investment in new powertrains is vital if GM wants to be competitive,” said Joe Ashton, UAW Vice President-GM Department.  “Our customers want vehicles that get great gas mileage and our members have proven they can build innovative products that exceed our customers’ expectations.” Source: General Motors