GM will invest $2 billion in U.S. plants, build new eight-speed auto

By Editors on May 11, 2011 8:09 AM

Speaking at the firm's Toledo Transmission Plant, GM's Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson announced that the automaker plans to invest nearly $2 billion at 17 of its assembly and component plants in eight states during the next several years. According to Akerson, this influx of cash will help keep GM competitive and create or preserve more than 4,000 jobs at those facilities. The 54-year-old Ohio plant will be one of the key beneficiaries of this program, netting $204 million of that total to keep about 250 jobs in place and produce an all-new and significantly more fuel-efficient eight-speed automatic transmission for use in unspecified future General Motors vehicles. 

The announcement of the investment in the Toledo operation follows last week's confirmation that GM will pump $131 million into the Chevrolet Corvette production facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky, while adding about 250 more jobs there as it prepares to upgrade that facility for the introduction of the next-generation "C7" Corvette which will debut for MY2014. Ackerson indicated that specific details on other GM investment beneficiaries will be announced over the course of the next several months, pending the successful completion of agreements on various state and local incentive programs. He added: "This new investment is on top of $3.4 billion and more than 9,000 jobs that GM has added or saved since mid-2009."

The General's latest commitment to bolstering its various manufacturing facilities in this country should also have even more broad-based repercussions. According to the nonprofit Center for Automotive Research, the ripple effect it generates will add nearly $2.9 billion to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product and help generate or maintain more than 28,000 jobs in various related supply/support industries.