General Motors literally started from the ground up in building its new $460 million engine plant where the Ecotec 2.5L engine that debuts in the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu will be assembled. It is the latest milestone in the plant’s 23-year history of 4-cylinder engine production.
GM and UAW employees on Wednesday demonstrated the flexible manufacturing that will enable high-quality production and quick changeovers from one engine product to another. There are about 10,000 items to track to ensure launch quality and timing. Some of those will be easier to see due to the upgrade to high-efficiency lighting that will help the plant save nearly $800,000 annually.
“This state-of-the-art engine plant builds on GM Spring Hill Manufacturing’s reputation for producing high-quality, fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engines,” said GM Manufacturing Manager Arvin Jones. That includes a new concrete floor that led to the recycling of some 250 million pounds of clean, crushed concrete from the old floor used to support area road construction projects.
GM expects to create or retain approximately 450 jobs within the new Spring Hill engine plant. Currently, 188 employees are working there. More hiring is expected as additional shifts are required to meet demand for the all-new Ecotec engines.
“The combination of fuel efficiency and power of the Ecotec 2.5L engine in the 2013 Malibu make this a great value for consumers,” Spring Hill Complex Manager Ken Knight said. “The Ecotec 2.5L direct injection engine is more fuel efficient than the previous 2.4L engine, has 16 percent more horsepower and the engine’s noise intensity has been reduced by 40 percent.”
Said UAW Local 1853 Chairman Mike Herron: “I am very proud of our entire Spring Hill Team for successfully launching the all-new Ecotec engine, which has great fuel efficiency and superior quality. Our hardworking and intelligent UAW workforce understands the importance of exceeding customer expectations, which has a positive, direct impact on the cost and quality of the products we produce here.”