General Motors says it will invest $200 million into its Pontiac, Mich. Global Powertrain Engineering Headquarters. GM plans to expand the existing facility in order to consolidate its efforts at developing next-generation electric and fuel cell powertrains.
GM to shift 400 workers
The automaker plans to add 138,000 square-feet to the already-massive 450,000 square foot facility. Eventually, that will lead to some 400 workers being shifted to the Pontiac location, which should be fully up and running in the second half of next year.
Streamlining R&D efforts
Michigan’s Gov. Rick Syder (R) applauded the move for his state last week, saying, “Michigan’s a place to be and it’s exciting to see the auto industry actually re-consolidate more in Michigan, and more manufacturing in Michigan.”
The move will consolidate four engineering and research and development facilities into one, streamlining its efforts by putting all of its R&D eggs into one basket, so to speak. The engineering work being done currently at facilities in Wixom, Mich., Warren, Mich., Castleton, Ind. and Torrance, Calif. will be shifted to Pontiac. Likewise, the fuel cell research now being done at Honeoye Falls, N.Y. will also be moved.
The automaker will not be renewing the lease at its Torrance, Calif. facility. About 114 workers at that facility will have the opportunity to take jobs at the expanded Pontiac plant, should they so choose.
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Sam Winegarden, GM’s vice president of Global Engine Engineering, said, “These moves will help our entire Powertrain team work more effectively across the organization to develop the powertrain technologies we need to build the world’s best vehicles for our customers around the world.”
A remarkable turnaround
GM filed for bankruptcy on June 1, 2009. A federally-backed GM re-opened the next month. Now the federal government has said it will sell off its remaining shares of the company this year.
Since GM took its bailout, it has made a remarkable turnaround. It has grown to a place where it can invest $8 billion a year into expanding its operations around the world. The announced move is part of its plan to spend $1.5 billion on its U.S. facilities in 2013. That amount was upped from the $436 million announced last year. GM also plans to pump an additional $600 million into its car production facility in Kansas City, Kansas.
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