[ad#post_ad]Back on its feet after its IPO, and GM is now beginning to put its money where it's most needed. One place in particular the company thinks it needs to expand is in the production of small engines.

Earlier this week GM announced it would be investing an additional $162 million in three of its facilities; Flint engines, Bay City components, and Defiance castings.  The lion's share of $138.3 million will go to the Flint, Michigan engine operations plant where 135 jobs will be retained.

GM is investing all this money in the Flint facility because it is where the engine critical to three vehicles that are the core of GM's future will be built.  This engine is the 4-cylinder 1.4 L ecotec model that serves both as the generator for the Chevy Volt and in a turbo-charged form for the Chevrolet Cruze compact car.

With the announcement GM also disclosed this engine will serve in a future Chevrolet small car the company apparently hasn't yet unveiled.

"This is the replacement for the Aveo," GM spokesperson Pat Morrissey told GM-Volt. "It will be built at the Orion plant."

Unnamed and unseen, we still don't know when we will find out more about this car.  It is not the Spark that one time GM had planned for US launch.  "We have not discussed reveal timing for this product," said Morrissey.

GM's investment in the engine is good news for fans of the Volt and other fuel efficient cars.

“This investment is essential in ensuring we can meet the expected high demand for the Chevrolet Volt, Chevrolet Cruze and a small car that will be produced at our Orion Township facility,” said Kathleen Dilworth, Flint Engine Operations plant manager. “These three facilities will continue to play a key role in GM’s resurgence and efforts to bring to market vehicles with segment-leading fuel economy.”

Engines for the Volts currently being built are being imported from Austria.  By early 2011 GM expects to build 400 engines per day in Flint and that will increase to 800 engines per day by then end of that year.  This new investment allows for the possibility of building 1200 engines per day in 2012.

Source ( GM )