$425 million investment boosts Tonawanda engine

(June 26, 2012) BUFFALO, N.Y. – A $425 million investment by General Motors in its Tonawanda Engine plant bore its first fruits Friday: the latest technology that will go into the next generation Ecotec 4-cylinder engines that will power the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu and 2013 Cadillac ATS.

GM and UAW employees showed off flexible manufacturing that will support high-quality production of the 2.5L and 2.0L turbo and enable quick changeovers from one engine product to another. There are about 10,000 items to track to ensure launch quality and timing.

“The men and women of Tonawanda have always focused on safety, quality, and cost,” said GM Manufacturing Manager Jim Glynn.  “Although competitive reasons keep me from revealing actual dollar figures, I am happy to report that Tonawanda Engine has the best engine warranty in all of General Motors.”

In a plant ceremony marking the start of production, UAW Local 774 Shop Chairman Bob Coleman said, “I am very proud of the UAW members who have built our reputation for producing quality engines.  Most of all, I’d like to thank our customers for buying our products. We’re not going to let them down.”

Tonawanda Engine Plant Manager Steve Finch said the goal for the next-generation engines is to delight customers. From 650 employees a year ago with 130 on permanent layoff, Tonawanda has brought back all laid-off workers and added 54 additional jobs, 21 from GM Components Holdings plants and 33 new-hires. More hiring is expected at Tonawanda with the addition of shifts for the Ecotec engines and the upcoming launch of the GEN V V8 engine line in Plant 1.

“This plant today is focused on producing quality engines; we’re placing all of our energies on the future,” Finch said.