GM will use existing Flint plant to build Cruze, Volt engines
A month ago, we reported that GM had cancelled its construction contracts for the brand-new facility it was at one time planning to build as the home of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt and 2011 Chevrolet Cruze engines. At the time, GM spokeswoman Sharon Basel said that GM was still committed to building the engines in the community of Flint, Michigan.
Flint workers can breathe a sigh of relief: although the new plant is officially cancelled, GM issued a press release yesterday stating that it will indeed build the Volt and Cruze engines in Flint, albeit at existing facilities. GM cites its current “capital expenditure constraint” (impending bankruptcy) as reasons for not investing in new floor space for the engines.
Instead, the General will spend about $250 million this spring to retool the Flint South plant with machinery to build the Family 0 engines that will power Chevrolet’s upcoming 2011 Volt hybrid and compact Cruze, the latter being a replacement for the current Cobalt. GM will begin production of the engines in December of 2010.
GM has said that it plans to start production of the Volt in late 2010. Initially, the Volt engines may be imported from Europe, where the Family 0 engines are already being built for use in several Opel models. The turbocharged version of the engine, which will be used in the Cruze but not the Volt, is scheduled to make its first appearance in the 2010 Opel Astra.