General Motors to invest $200 million in Pontiac Powertrain complex

About 400 jobs to be created at Pontiac facility

PONTIAC, Mich. - General Motors announced they will invest $200 million into its Global Powertrain Engineering Headquarters to build a new 138,000 square feet test wing, which is expected to be completed in 2014.

The Powertrain headquarters in Pontiac produces engines for the GMC Sierra and Silverado pickups.

GM vice president of Global Engine Engineering, Sam Winegarden, Michigan Gov. Snyder, Pontiac Mayor Leon Jukowski and U.S. Rep. Gary Peters attended the Wednesday announcement.

The plan is part of GM's previously announced commitment to invest $1.5 billion in its North American facilities in 2013.

The expansion will enable the company to consolidate work being done at four locations remote to the Pontiac campus, helping to reduce development timing for GM's next-generation advanced propulsion technologies.

When the moves are complete, GM will have added approximately 400 jobs to the Pontiac campus.

"Thank you, GM. It's a welcome announcement. And Pontiac, I'm sure, appreciates the infusion of good, high-paying jobs," said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson in a statement.

Under the expansion plan, engineering development work currently being done at leased facilities in Wixom, Mich.; Castleton, Ind. and Torrance, Calif., will move to Pontiac. Also, GM R&D's Propulsion Systems Research lab in Warren, Mich. will relocate to the Pontiac campus. GM previously announced that work being performed at its hydrogen fuel cell facility in Honeoye Falls, N.Y., would be consolidated in Pontiac in mid-2013.

"These moves will help our entire Powertrain team work more effectively across the organization to develop the powertrain technologies we need to build the world's best vehicles for our customers ,around the world," said Sam Winegarden, GM vice president of Global Engine Engineering.

Polk auto analyst Tom Libby said the move is part of the automaker making up any time it lost during its restructuring.

"This increase in Pontiac is a positive for the Detroit-metro area that stemming from GM's improved results and also GM's product activity," said Polk auto analyst Tom Libby.

"I want to thank GM for making an investment in the future of Pontiac by adding 400 good paying middle-class jobs," said U.S. Rep. Gary Peters. "Four years ago, when it looked announcements like today's were a thing of the past, we worked together to secure a brighter future for our auto industry. Because of everyone's commitment to the Greater Detroit region's auto industry, I'm optimistic that we'll continue to see positive job growth in 2013."

Additional changes:

  • The Performance Build Center, currently located at the Wixom facility, will move to GM's Chevrolet Corvette assembly plant in Bowling Green, Ky., by the first quarter of 2014. 
  • The work GM conducts at its Wixom Advanced Engineering Lab, including electric motor engineering development and performance engineering, will be transferred to Pontiac by mid-2015
  • The Torrance Advanced Technology Center's work on electric motor and power electronics engineering development will be transferred to Pontiac by the end of 2014.
  • Heavy-duty transmission, power electronics, hybrid and battery electric drive unit development work done at Castleton will be transferred to Pontiac by mid-2014.
  • GM R&D's Propulsion Systems Research Lab will be relocated to Pontiac during the second half of 2015.

Having completed a consolidation of seven southeastern Michigan Powertrain Engineering facilities in 2008, GM says this wave of Powertrain Engineering consolidation will allow cuts to 640,000 square feet of floor space and eliminate three leased facilities in the United States.

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