GM opens new US$200M diesel engine facility in Thailand; first to produce new 4-cylinder Duramax diesels
General Motors opened a new diesel engine plant in Rayong, Thailand. The US$200 million facility, which is adjacent to the automaker’s vehicle manufacturing plant, represents GM’s most significant powertrain investment in Southeast Asia. The new 54,275-square-meter facility, GM’s first diesel engine plant in the region, is the first-in-the-world to produce the all-new family of Duramax four-cylinder diesel engines.
The plant has the capability to manufacture approximately 120,000 engines per year for use in vehicles built in Thailand and other global markets. GM expects to source US$94 million worth of Thai-built components for the production of engines at its Rayong facility by 2012.
The first engines to be manufactured by the facility will be installed in the new Chevrolet Colorado pickup that will be produced in Rayong following engineering development work and retooling of the vehicle assembly line.
The opening of the facility comes a month after GM announced that it will invest US$150 million in the reactivation of its Bekasi manufacturing facility in Indonesia for production of a new line of people movers for Southeast Asian markets. The new powertrain facility takes GM’s investment in Thailand to US$1.3 billion since 1998.
The new powertrain facility has a compact manufacturing footprint. It has adopted advanced computer and laser-guided equipment and is extremely flexible, with the ability to switch between production of 2.5-liter and 2.8-liter engine variants in line with changing market demand.
The plant has adopted technologies to keep the facility dust free and is fully climate controlled to manage humidity and create the most suitable environment for quality engine production.
GM Thailand has also employed environmental-protection processes throughout the facility, including using lighting that consumes 40 percent less energy compared with regular systems.
Duramax diesels. The newly developed 2.5-liter and 2.8-liter diesel engines are the newest members of the Duramax truck-engine family. They feature overhead cams, turbocharging and durable aluminum cylinder heads for refinement and durability.
The four-cylinder Duramax engines were tested in extreme conditions in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America. They meet the Euro IV emission standard and can be used in front-, rear- or all-wheel-drive applications.
Additionally, they were subjected to the same validation process as the Duramax 6.6-liter turbo diesel, which is sold primarily in North America. More than 1.3 million Duramax 6.6-liter engines have been sold since 2001.