General Motors is betting big on a future where utilities, trucks, and green vehicle technologies will play a bigger role in the company’s long term success. To help move boldy forward into this bright future, GM revealed that it has made two key investments for both its Spring Hill Propulsion Plant, as well as its Tonawanda Engine Plant.
The first (and the biggest of the two) is a $40 million dollar investment into the company’s Spring Hill Propulsion Plant in Tennessee. Once known for being home base for the axed Saturn brand, Spring Hill has rapidly transformed into a key cog in GM’s SUV strategy. The $40 million investment into the facility will help increase production capacity for the 5.3 liter V8. Serving as the base engine for GM’s large pickup and utility models, the 5.3 can be found in the Chevrolet Silverado and the Tahoe/Suburban as well as their GMC counterparts the Sierra and the Yukon/Yukon XL.
Both of these models are coming off radical refreshes, and the Suburban and Yukon in particular were recently unveiled to the world. With the broader role that these models are expected to play in GMs grander gamble towards segment domination, the expansion of production capability of this particular engine became a high priority for the company. For those not familiar with the 5.3, it is paired with GM’s 10-speed automatic which helps the engine reap better fuel economy as a result.
“This investment further solidifies GM’s commitment to our team and jobs for our community,” said Michael Youngs, GPS plant director, “The Spring Hill Manufacturing team has a proven track record of successful, high quality launches, and when our products are in high demand by customers, this team is ready.”
The investment also builds upon a prior $22 million dollar investment GM made in the facility back in 2019, and it adds a figurative cherry on top of the $2 billion in cumulative investments that the company has made to Spring Hill since 2010. Spring Hill also remains true to its goal of connecting with the community surrounding its slice of Tennessee with 900 acres of its 1100 acre blueprint devoted to farming while the remaining 100 acres of land are dedicated to wetland preservation.
The 5.3 liter’s tentacles also played a role in GM investing $6.7 million into its Tonawanda engine plant in Buffalo, New York to further enhance its capability to produce the 5.3 liter V8. Unlike the investment in Spring Hill, the money invested Tonawanda is split into two parts. The first slice of the money is a $4.4 million infusion of capital investment into the facility, while the remaining $2.3 million is earmarked towards project expense for making the necessary improvements needed to maximize engine production.
”Tonawanda Engine Plant’s talented and engaged workforce continuously strives to help our plant succeed. This investment helps expand our flexibility to make multiple products to meet customer demands,” said Plant Director Ram Ramanujam. “This investment builds on our reputation of consistently launching and delivering high quality, award winning engines like the 6.2L Gen V DFM for the Silverado, and LT2 C8 Corvette.”
This separate investment for Tonawanda also builds on a wave of good press for the plant, with Wards Automotive revealing earlier this month that the LT2 V8 for the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette (also produced at Tonawanda) was named as an entrant in the publication’s Top 10 Engines and Propulsion systems list. This is the second year a Tonawanda made engine has made this list, and it meshes nicely with the 2020 Corvette being recently named North American Car of The Year.
With these two key investments, GM is ramping up its efforts at capturing the hearts of pickup and utility buyers while also ensuring that it has both the supply and the necessary levels of production scale needed to help the company keep up with the rising levels of demand.