GM Tonawanda expansion good to go

September 27, 2013 Updated Apr 28, 2010 at 8:17 AM EDT

By Business First of Buffalo

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GM Tonawanda expansion good to go

September 27, 2013 Updated Apr 28, 2010 at 8:17 AM EDT

The resurgence of the General Motors plant in Tonawanda will continue as the company announced Tuesday plans to produce a new generation of fuel efficient small-block truck and car engines at multiple facilities in North America.

In all, GM said it will invest more than $890 million, which will create or retain more than 1,600 jobs at the five locations. In Tonawanda, the investment is worth $400 million and the addition of 710 jobs. That follows an announcement in February, when the automaker said that the facility will produce the next generation of fuel-efficient Ecotec engines as part of a local $425 million investment.

According to the company, Tonawanda employs 651 workers - 522 hourly and 129 salaried. In 2008, the facility produced close to 750,000 engines.

Another nearby GM plant in St. Catharines, Ont., is in line for an investment of $235 million resulting in approximately 400 jobs.

Additional upgrades are planned for three U.S. plants:

Defiance, Ohio - an investment of $115 million, up to 189 jobs
Bedford, Ind. - an investment of $111 million, about 245 jobs
Bay City, Mich. - an investment of $32 million, over 80 jobs

"GM is investing in our plants, restoring and creating jobs and making progress toward our vision of designing, building and selling the world's best vehicles," said a statement from Mark Reuss, president of GM North America. "These latest investments show our commitment to improving fuel economy for buyers of every GM car, truck and crossover and giving them the best possible driving and ownership experience."

GM said the next generation small-block engine family will have unprecedented fuel efficiency through direct injection and an all-new advanced combustion system design. Since the launch of the new General Motors Co. last July, the company has announced investments of more than $2.3 billion at 22 facilities in the U.S. and Canada.