GM to invest USD854 million to produce its next-gen V-8 engine
Photo courtesy of General Motors Co.

GM to invest USD854 million to produce its next-gen V-8 engine

General Motors Co. (GM) will invest USD854 million to prepare these facilities to produce its sixth-generation small block V-8 engine in four U.S. manufacturing sites.

“Today we are announcing significant investments to strengthen our industry-leading lineup of full-size pickups and SUVs by preparing four U.S. facilities to build GM’s sixth generation small block V-8 engine,” said Gerald Johnson, GM executive vice president of Global Manufacturing and Sustainability.

An additional USD64 million will be invested in Rochester, New York, and Defiance, Ohio, for castings and components to support electric vehicle (EV) production.

These investments will mostly enable the company to strengthen its industry-leading full-size truck and sport utility vehicle (SUV) business, although GM has stated that it is on its way to an all-electric future, with a goal of having all of its light-duty vehicles to be battery electric by 2035.

Product details, timing, performance and features related to GM’s next-generation small block V-8 engine were not released at the time of the announcement, but in an earnings presentation, the company said the new small block V-8 will produce more power and torque than the fifth-generation engine and will see a 5% increase in fuel efficiency. The presentation also said these engines will see a double-digit reduction in emissions. The current small block V-8 engine uses cylinder deactivation, direct fuel injection, and variable valve timing to enhance performance and efficiency. According to rumors, the sixth-generation small block V-8 engine will include some form of fuel-saving cylinder-deactivation technology.

GM’s current fifth-generation small-block family was launched in 2013 and includes engines like the LT2 6.2-liter V-8 that debuted in the C8 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, as well as the LT5 supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 that powered the C7 Corvette ZR1.

Below are details of these investments:

  • Flint Engine Operations in Michigan – GM will invest USD579 million to prepare the plant to assemble GM’s sixth generation family of Small Block V-8 gas engines along with the related block, crank and head machining. Work at the facility will begin immediately. Flint will continue building the 3.0L turbo-diesel during the facility renovations. GM’s 3.0L diesel is used in a variety of light-duty truck applications.
  • Bay City GPS in Michigan – GM will invest USD216 million to prepare the facility to build camshafts, connecting rods and block/head machining supporting future V-8 production at Flint Engine Operations.
  • Defiance Operations in Ohio – GM will invest USD55 million in the Defiance facility. USD47 million will be invested to prepare the facility to build a variety of block castings to support future V-8 engine programs. In addition, the investment includes USD8 million to build a casting development cell for castings to support future EV strategies.
  • Rochester Operations in New York – GM will invest a total of USD68 million in the Rochester facility. USD12 million will be invested to prepare the facility to build intake manifolds and fuel rails for the future V-8 production at Flint Engine Operations. In addition, the investment includes USD56 million for the production of battery pack cooling lines for EV production.

“Our union celebrates the announcement of these new investments into our GM facilities, which will benefit our members at Locals 659 (Flint, Michigan), 362 (Bay City, Michigan), 211 (Defiance, Ohio) and 1097 (Rochester, New York),” said UAW President Ray Curry. “The skill and dedication of UAW members are a key part of GM’s success, and this investment recognises that our members will remain a vital part of GM’s future.”

“The teams in Rochester and Defiance are also leading our transformation to an all-electric future,” Johnson said. “Their flexibility to build components for both internal combustion and electric vehicles highlights why our manufacturing team is second to none.”

This announcement brings GM’s U.S. manufacturing facility investment commitments to more than USD37 billion since 2013, including the Ultium Cells LLC joint venture plants.

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