GM to invest $100 million in diesel engine plant

General Motors Corp. will invest $100 million in its Tonawanda engine plant to produce an all-new, 4.5-liter V-8 Duramax high-output diesel engine for the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra light-duty pickup trucks and the HUMMER H2.

The engine fuel efficiency improves by 25% when compared with gasoline engines. Environmental benefits of the new engine include a 13-percent reduction in CO2 versus gasoline engines, and at least a 90-percent reduction in particulates and NOx when compared to diesel vehicles today.

The investment includes a 200,000-square-foot facility renovation, new machinery, equipment and special tooling to bring diesel engine technology to New York. In addition to the $100 million facility investment, GM will invest an additional $41 million for vendor tooling, containers and investments at other locations necessary to support the Tonawanda operations. Construction is slated to begin later this year and production of the 4.5-liter V-8 diesel engine is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2009. The project will retain about 150 hourly jobs.

“GM is transforming its product portfolio to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, and the 4.5-liter V-8 diesel is an integral part of that transformation, as well as a component of GM’s strategy to diversify vehicle energy sources,” said John Buttermore, GM Powertrain vice president of global manufacturing. “This will be one of the most efficient and technically-advanced diesel engines, providing a 25% improvement in fuel efficiency and 13% reduction in CO2 emissions over gasoline engines in this segment – and it does all that while still providing the performance attributes required by customers in the areas of towing and hauling loads.”

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