GM to build eight-speed transmission in ToledoThu, 12 May 2011
General Motors is directing $204 million of a $2 billion investment in its U.S. plants toward building an eight-speed automatic transmission in Toledo.
Automakers are turning to transmissions with more gears to meet more stringent fuel-economy regulations. GM is trailing automakers such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz in using eight-speed transmissions.
GM CEO Dan Akerson said the company is confident about customer demand. The new investment is on top of $3.4 billion GM has spent on its plants since mid-2009, Akerson said.
In addition to the $2 billion in spending, GM says it will add about 4,000 jobs at 17 of its assembly plants in the United States.
Construction of the new eight-speed automatic will retain about 250 jobs at the Toledo powertrain plant, GM said.
Full GM press release below:
GM to Invest $2 Billion in U.S. Plants, Adding 4,000 Jobs
Toledo gets $204 million for all-new 8-speed transmission
TOLEDO, Ohio – General Motors Co. announced Tuesday it will invest about $2 billion in U.S. assembly and component plants, creating or preserving more than 4,000 jobs at 17 facilities in eight states.
“We are doing this because we are confident about demand for our vehicles and the economy,” GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson said during an event at the 54-year-old Toledo Transmission Plant. “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.”
With Ohio Gov. John Kasich, U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Toledo, and Toledo Mayor Michael Bell in the audience, Akerson said GM will invest $204 million to retain about 250 jobs for an all-new, advanced 8-speed automatic transmission for future vehicles that offer customers improved fuel economy and outstanding performance.
GM’s U.S. sales through the first four months of the year are up 24.8 percent over 2010, and the company last week reported its fifth-consecutive profitable quarter since emerging from bankruptcy reorganization in July 2009.
"The UAW's goal has been to return all laid-off workers to active status and see the company begin hiring again,” said Joe Ashton, UAW vice president – GM Department. “These announcements will create and retain thousands of jobs and bring General Motors back to full employment of our hourly workforce."
The first of the new investments -- $131 million and about 250 additional jobs in Bowling Green, Ky., -- was announced last week. Plant improvements and installation of new equipment to make the next generation Chevrolet Corvette will begin soon while the current-generation Corvette is assembled for at least the next two model years.
Over the next few months, GM will make specific facility investment announcements dependent on successful completion of state and local incentives in some communities. According to the nonprofit Center for Automotive Research, the ripple effect of the planned investments would add almost $2.9 billion to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product and create or retain more than 28,000 jobs.
“If the market continues to recover, we are confident that GM will hire new workers to meet the strong demand for the products our UAW members build,” Ashton said. “I am proud of how our membership has worked hard to ensure the company's success."
Akerson said working in partnership with the UAW is essential to GM’s success.
“Nobody builds ‘em more fantastic than you do,” Akerson told the employees in Toledo, where GM has had a presence since 1916. ”We need you and the rest of our teams at all our facilities to keep working hard and keep being the best.”
By Michelle Koueiter