GM $425 Million Investment Boosts Tonawanda Engine

Community benefits from GM Foundation grants to local charities

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. 

As part of Friday’s activities, the General Motors Foundation awarded $50,000 in grants to these local charities: 

United Way of Buffalo and Erie County - $20,000
American Cancer Society - $20,000
Boys and Girls Club of Western New York - $5,000
American Heart Association - $5,000

In total, the GM Foundation will provide more than $1 million in funding to nearly 200 organizations in 43 plant cities where GM employees live and work. The goal is to build stronger communities. 

“The communities that our employees and their families call home are important to the General Motors Foundation,” said GM Foundation President Vivian Pickard. “The grants that we provide benefit education, community centers, cultural organizations and many other important areas that strengthen and improve these communities.”

About Tonawanda Engine

Tonawanda currently produces the Inline 4 (4-cyl.) – 2.9L and Inline 5 (5-cyl.) – 3.7L engines found in the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups and the Ecotec 2.4L (4-cyl.) engines found in the Chevrolet Malibu and for China and Korea applications. In February 2010 the plant was awarded a $425 million investment for the Ecotec 2.0L/2.5L (4-cyl.) engine that will be used in the next generation Chevrolet Malibu and the Cadillac ATS, and a $400 million investment awarded in April 2010 to build an all-new V8 engine for pickup trucks.

About General Motors Co.

General Motors (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM’s brands include Chevrolet and Cadillac, as well as Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.

###