General Motors will invest more than $494 million in three US plants to produce the next generation of its gasoline direct-injection Ecotec engines. The investment includes facility renovation, new machinery, equipment and special tooling to support this engine program at the three plants, and consists of the following:
Tonawanda: $425-million site investment will add capacity for the next generation Ecotec engine at 370,000 per year;
Defiance: $59-million site investment will support precision sand cast block at a capacity of 188,000 annually; and
Bay City: $10.5-million site investment will bring new product to the plant (Ecotec connecting rod).
The investment in Tonawanda, supported by the investments at Defiance and Bay City, will go toward producing two next-generation Ecotec engines.
The current Ecotec 2.4L with direct injection and variable valve timing in the Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain was recently recognized as one of Ward’s Auto World magazine’s 2010 “Ten Best Engines” for North America based on several factors, including power, fuel efficiency and new technology. The Ecotec is currently available in 2.0L, 2.2L and 2.4L displacements. The next-gen Ecotec will build on this foundation.
GM will release specifics about the engine capabilities as well as product applications at a later date.