Buffalo, NY (WKBW) - General Motors is hosting open houses at 54 of its manufacturing plants in the U.S. & Canada this year as a way to thank the American public for its support over the past few years.
Tonawanda Engine is opening its doors to the public for the first time since 2003. The company recently announced the investment of $825 million in the plant.
At a news conference Friday, Plant Manager Steve Finch was joined by Bob Coleman of the United Auto Workers, along with area officials to announce plans for growth at the plant.
According to officials, $33 million dollars will be invested at the Power Train plant, resulting in the creation of up to 100 jobs.
The plant will be a centerpiece for the manufacturing of fuel efficient cars, crossovers, and ecotech engines.
The news announcement was made Friday morning, prior to a day long opportunity for the general public to visit the plant, and a weekend of events.
Day one of the event features an open house on Friday June 17, 2011. The public is invited to tour the General Motors Tonawanda Engine two manufacturing facilities at 2995 River Rd from noon - 8 p.m. (last tour goes out at 7 p.m.). (Closed toe and heel shoes must be worn inside the plant and no high heels).) Guests will get an inside look at how the workers build engines and the technology involved. The tour is wheelchair and child stroller accessible. (Small children need to be carried or put in strollers.)
There will be an Antique Military Vehicle display that will include the Pratt & Whitney airplane engine the plant built during WWII to support the war effort. There will also be a focus on safety with opportunities for visitors to learn about safety in the plant and in the vehicles. SafeKids will hold two demonstrations on keeping kids safe in and around cars and NY Life is providing free Child ID's and DNA kits. There will also be a Text & Drive Simulator there so kids can see what can happen when you text & drive. And, kids from the Ken-Ton school district ad Charter School of Applied Technologies have participated in a poster contest and all posters will be on display. The UAW/GM Motorsports trailer will be there with a NASCAR and radio remote controlled car races.
Visitors will have the opportunity to test drive (with a valid driver's license) 15 GM vehicles. These vehicles include the Chevy Volt Extended Range Electric vehicle, the Equinox Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicle, the Cruze (gets 42 mpg), the Corvette ZO6, the Camaro Convertible, and many more. There will be food, many vendors and displays and lots of giveaways.
Day two of the event is this Saturday, June 18th from 9:00 a.m. To 5:00 p.m. General Motors Tonawanda Engine will host its annual Classic Car Show & Auto Expo. For the first time ever, Ford and Chrysler owners are invited to participate and over 70 awards will be handed out in several different categories. Car show registration is from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The cost is $10 and 100% of the proceeds goes to the American Cancer Society. The first 300 cars receive a dash plaque and a free raffle ticket. All the same vendors from the Open House will be there for the car show as well, adding some bounce houses for the kids on Saturday. There will be a live band and a DJ with a Veteran's Honor Guard and flag-folding ceremony at noon.