Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur watches as assembly team member Jim Chandler, right, loads a completed transmission into a shipping container during a visit to the GM Toledo Transmission Plant last summer.
General Motors Co. announced Tuesday that it will invest another $83 million into its Toledo Transmission Plant to enhance its front-wheel drive six-speed transmission for use in the upcoming Buick Lacrosse and Chevrolet Malibu.
The new money will mean the addition of 30 jobs at the plant, which currently employs about 1,600 people making both front-wheel and rear-wheel drive six-speed transmissions for some of the automaker’s most popular vehicles. The new positions will be filled by those laid off from other GM facilities. The plant won’t be adding any additional equipment to its assembly line, however, spokesman Wanda Wellman said.
The announcement is the plant’s second investment since May, and adds up to $287 million being spent there to expand and improve production. It is included in $2 billion being invested by GM into 17 facilities in eight states over the next 18 months that the automaker said will create or retain some 4,000 jobs.
Tuesday’s announcement, which also includes $32 million for diecast and torque converter operations at the automaker’s plant in Bedford, Ind., comes as GM is preparing to begin negotiations with its largest union, the United Auto Workers, on a successor agreement to its current contract, which expires later this year. Additional jobs and job security are expected to be among the top issues in those negotiations.
“GM continually assesses its product offerings and makes adjustments to meet consumer demand,” said Cathy Clegg, GM vice president of labor relations, in a written statement. “GM is moving quickly to get more fuel-efficient technologies into our vehicles to benefit the consumer, and these investments are an example of the speed with which we are responding.”
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