Gm Expands the Six-Speed Transmision Production
General Motors announced today an additional $332 million investment to support production of its new family of six-speed transmissions at its transmission plant here. This latest investment brings GM’s total spending on fuel-saving six-speed automatics to $1.7 billion in its U.S. operations since 2003. The investments support the company’s plans to build three million units of these transmissions annually by 2010.
"Raising the bar on the execution of new products is a critical part of our turnaround plan, and the broad application of six-speed transmissions plays a key role in GM’s strategy to be a leader in offering a range of fuel-efficient, fun-to-drive vehicles," said GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner. "We also are very pleased to be making another significant capital investment in Michigan, and we applaud the United Auto Workers and federal, state and local leaders for partnering with GM to make this possible."
Wagoner noted that six-speed automatic transmissions are gaining market popularity because they can help improve both fuel economy and performance.
"With their new design and leading-edge technology, these new six-speed transmissions will provide up to a four percent gain in fuel economy over our current four-speed automatics, while also offering up to a seven percent improvement in vehicle performance," he said. "That’s good for the environment and an all-around win for our customers."
The new front-wheel-drive six-speeds to be built at the Warren plant will be used in the all-new 2007 Saturn Aura, the 2007 Pontiac G6 and in GM’s upcoming family of new crossover vehicles - the Saturn Outlook, the GMC Acadia and the Buick Enclave.
GM’s total facility investment in Michigan since 2003 for six-speed transmissions alone is now $1.2 billion, with $633 million at Warren and $577 million at the Ypsilanti Transmission Operations, respectively. In February, GM announced a $500 million investment to produce rear-wheel-drive six-speeds at its Powertrain Toledo (OH) plant.
"This is a significant investment from the standpoints of expanding production of fuel-efficient six-speed transmissions, and providing greater job security for UAW Local 909 members whose dedication helped win this new work," said UAW Vice President Richard Shoemaker. "We are pleased that GM has chosen to invest $1.2 billion in Michigan to expand production of a variety of new six-speed transmissions. It¹s good for GM, good for Michigan and good for UAW members and others who work for General Motors."
This latest investment in the Warren Transmission Plant, which employs approximately 1,200 people, will include additional facility renovations, new machinery, equipment and tooling to support the new processes. Construction is set to begin this summer and be completed in early 2008.
Governor Jennifer Granholm and Warren Mayor Mark Steenbergh applauded GM’s investment as an example of how government and industry can work together to benefit both the local and state economy.
"It is rewarding to see our strategy for encouraging further automotive investments in the state bearing fruit," Gov. Granholm said in a statement. "This expansion secures the jobs of hundreds of Michigan workers and continues to support our automotive technology leadership in a global market."
Mayor Steenbergh added: "General Motors’ continuing investment in Warren demonstrates the strength of our partnership. We are thrilled that we were able to help protect jobs at the powertrain plant through cooperation with our largest taxpayer."