FLINT, MI –will invest $1.3 billion at five U.S. manufacturing facilities to build new engines and transmissions, as well as upgrade an existing assembly plant.
GM North American President Mark Reuss says the investment underscores growing momentum across the industry, which in November hit a 6-year sales high of 16.3 million units on a seasonally adjusted annual basis. GM sales this year are up 8.8% to 2.6 million units, according to WardsAuto data.
“These investments add up to higher quality and more fuel-efficient vehicles for our customers,” Reuss says in a statement ahead of the announcement, which he and GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson make from here and Washington today.
GM expects the investment will create or retain about 1,000 jobs.
The outlay includes $600 million for facility upgrades, including a new paint shop, at the automaker’s Flint, MI, assembly plant, and $121 million to build a logistics center at its Detroit-Hamtramck site.
GM additionally will spend $493.4 million at its Romulus Powertrain Operations, also in Michigan, for equipment to produce a new 10-speed automatic transmission and increase output of a previously-announced new V-6 engine; $30.6 million at Toledo, OH, powertrain plant to increase capacity for an existing 6-speed transmission, as well as tooling for a new variant to the gearbox; and $29.2 million at its Bedford Castings facility in Indiana to make parts for the two transmissions.
The automaker says it will provide additional details on the 10-speed transmission and new V-6 engine at a later date.
The investment comes as GM continues its stunning comeback from its 2009 bankruptcy. The automaker has posted 15 consecutive quarterly profits on $64 billion in global automotive revenue since the restructuring.
Earlier this month the U.S. Treasury sold its remaining stake in the automaker and Akerson announced current product chief Mary Barra would take over as CEO, GM’s first female in the position, in January. GM also regained an important investment-grade credit rating this year, and a number of its new products have gained third-party recognition.
However, Akerson admits the automaker has more work ahead in changing customer perceptions.
“We are still in the early chapters of our comeback story and we have a lot to prove, especially to people who left us for other brands,” Akerson says in Washington, according to prepared remarks provided to WardsAuto.
“The only way to bring them back is to keep making cars, trucks and crossovers with world-class quality, reliability, durability and compelling design.”