GM Flint Engine Operations recently built its 1 millionth 1.4-liter engine, currently used in the Chevrolet Volt, Cruze and Sonic. Flint Engine is now in the midst of a $200-million upgrade that will end the 1.4-liter engine production this week and begin production of the new Ecotec small gasoline engine—announced for the next gen Cruze and Volt—by year’s end.
The all-new Ecotec small gasoline engine will be built in eight engine plants in six countries, including Flint, producing 2.5 million engines a year by 2017. To date, only the Volt (1.5-liter) and Cruze (1.4-liter turbo) have been announced as recipients of the Flint-built engine.
The launch of the Ecotec started shortly after the April 2013 investment announcement in the Flint plant. Following a similar path as their assembly plant colleagues, Flint Engine employees—both hourly and salaried—formed a launch team that would spend months working with GM engineers and employees in Michigan, Mexico and Japan.
Once production of the 1.4-liter engine ends this week, the facility will complete installation and testing of equipment with the first production engines heading to GM’s Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant for the Chevrolet Cruze before the end of the year. Volt production will begin later in 2016.
Throughout the transition, Flint Engine will continue to produce the 3.6-liter engine for the Chevrolet Colorado and Traverse, GMC Canyon and Acadia and Buick Enclave.