GM Cancels Construction of Volt, Cruze Engine Plant
Back in September-during that magical time when credit was available and people bought automobiles-GM announced that it would erect a new plant in Flint, Michigan to build its new 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine. The General made Michiganders nervous when it delayed construction of the building in December. Now, GM has dealt its home state another blow: WJRT-12, a mid-Michigan news station, received confirmation from GM spokesperson Sharon Basel that GM has canceled the construction contracts for the facility.
Basel told the news station that GM’s commitment to the community of Flint hasn’t changed, but that it is looking at all possible options-including using existing Flint buildings to assemble the new engine, rather than constructing a whole new building. In a separate interview, Basel said the intent is still to eventually produce the engine in Flint, but timing is dependent on economic conditions. GM had to dump the contract, or it would have had to commit to more capital it doesn’t have, she said.
The 552,000 square-foot facility was to be the home of the engine that will power GM’s two most important upcoming vehicles: the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle, and the Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan. The Volt is designed to use a detuned, 100-hp version of the 1.4-liter engine, while the Cruze will get a turbocharged 140-horsepower configuration.
The 1.4-liter engines can be built at a European facility and imported to the United States to keep the Chevrolet Volt’s launch on schedule, even if the actual location of a Flint assembly line for the 1.4-liter engine family isn’t finalized.
Source: WJRT-TV 12