TONAWANDA, N.Y. -
General Motors Powertrain confirmed its plans for a new high-tech engine
manufacturing plant here.
To be located
on Vulcan Street, the 711,000 square-foot facility will produce a family
of world class, high-efficiency engines.
"This decision reflects our recognition of the competitiveness of
Tonawanda and the commitment to the hourly and salaried work force. The
continuing cooperation of public officials, union and community leaders
has helped to ensure the future of the plant and the preservation of the
maximum number of job opportunities," said Arv Mueller, General
Motors group vice president, GM Powertrain.
"GM's decision sends a powerful message across the country that
Western New York can compete for and win major economic development
investments, because of the sweeping changes we have made in our
business climate," said Gov. George Pataki. "It is also a vote
of confidence for the GM workers, who earned this victory through their
formal groundbreaking ceremony is being planned for later in the year.
County Executive Joel Giambra cited the strong partnership among state
and local government agencies and GM as a key factor in placing the new
plant in Erie County. "I could not be more pleased with the level
of cooperation that we sustained throughout the long process of bringing
this considerable investment to Tonawanda," he said.
Jeff Pietrzyk, shop chairman of UAW Local 774, said he was excited about
GM's decision to put the new product at Tonawanda. "This new plant
will be a high tech showplace for union-management cooperation and the
world-class production of quality engines," he said. "Local
774 proud to be a partner in helping to bring this investment to Western
New York and to retain automotive jobs for the region."
GM Powertrain will install agile manufacturing equipment in the new
facility to create a more flexible plant, according to Homi Patel, vice
president and general manager of manufacturing for GM Powertrain.
"Our expectation is that the plant will produce a world-class
product for our customers and will establish benchmark levels of
performance for safety, quality, responsiveness, cost and
productivity," he said.
Plant manager Arvin Jones expressed appreciation for the continuing
efforts of Erie County, the Erie County Industrial Development
Authority, the State of New York, the Town of Tonawanda and other
government agencies. "We look forward to continuing to work with
the state and the county to further enhance the retention of jobs and to
produce this engine in Erie County," he said.
blocks and heads will be cast at GM Powertrain's facility in Defiance,
Ohio, which will use lost-foam technology for the first time. Built in
1948, the Defiance facility employs approximately 4,000 hourly and
salaried workers and produces cast iron engine components including
blocks, heads and crankshafts for a variety of applications.
Tonawanda engine facility employs about 3,800 workers and produces four,
six and eight cylinder engines for a variety of applications.