General Motors Romulus Engine Plant employee Christy Seay stuffs a piston into an 8-cylinder engine. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors)
General Motors Romulus Engine Plant employee Christy Seay stuffs a piston into an 8-cylinder engine. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors)
Quentin Wright, a General Motors Saginaw Metal Casting employee, working in the Saginaw, Mich., plant, which will receive a $215 million infusion for production of future engine block and head casting work. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors.)
Quentin Wright, a General Motors Saginaw Metal Casting employee, working in the Saginaw, Mich., plant, which will receive a $215 million infusion for production of future engine block and head casting work. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors.)

General Motors recently announced multi-million dollar investments in two of its engine production and casting facilities in Michigan.

The automaker said it will invest approximately $385 million to prepare Romulus Engine for production of an all-new, fuel efficient engine program, creating or retaining about 320 jobs. The plant, which currently has about 840 employees on two shifts, produces a variety of V6 and V8 engines that power GM full-size vans, SUVs and pickups, including the Chevrolet Express, Silverado, Tahoe, Suburban and Colorado, GMC Savana, Sierra, Yukon, Canyon, and Cadillac Escalade. Romulus-built engines also are used for marine and industrial applications.

“Customers care about fuel efficiency and performance,” said Gerald Johnson, GM manufacturing manager. “We continue to innovate to meet both these expectations and the Romulus team will be an important part of our efforts."

According to Joe Ashton, UAW vice president representing the GM Department, the gains achieved through collective bargaining not only its membership, but also provide opportunities to members of the communities where GM builds vehicles. The announcement of a new engine program for the Romulus plant, he said, will mean more good-paying job opportunities for the Metro Detroit area.

In addition, General Motors will invest approximately $215 million to tool the Saginaw Metal Casting Operation for production of future engine block and head casting work. The 92-year-old plant, which currently has about 630 employees on two shifts, builds a variety of aluminum engine blocks and cylinder heads for some of GM’s hottest products, including the Buick LaCrosse and Chevy Malibu.

More importantly, the investment translates into the creation or retention of about 275 jobs. “We look forward to continuing our long and proud heritage of in-house casting for key components,” said Diana Tremblay, GM’s global chief manufacturing officer. “We believe these operations really enhance our ability to provide more fuel-efficient engines to our customers around the globe."

UAW's Ashton concurred, adding: “This announcement is another example of a very positive trend that is occurring at GM. Saginaw is like so many communities in the Midwest that have suffered the loss of their manufacturing jobs to other countries around the globe. I want to congratulate the members of UAW Local 668 for their hard work and helping brighten the future for Saginaw and the surrounding communities.”