GM was planning to build a new plant in Flint to build engines for the Volt. But apparently those plans have been put on hold.
I’d be interested to understand more about the numbers, though:
General Motors is suspending work on the $370 million factory slated to build engines for the Chevrolet Volt, but says the plug-in hybrid will appear in showrooms by the end of 2010 as promised.
The decision comes as GM frantically slashes costs in a desperate bid to survive while the White House dithers on a bailout. GM and Chrysler have said they could be out of money by the end of the year, but Congress failed to approve $14 billion in short-term loans to the Big Three and the Bush administration appears to be in no hurry to act.
With cash dwindling fast, GM says it has no choice but to postpone work on the the factory in Flint, Michigan, where 300 people would build the 1.4-liter turbocharged engines slated for the Volt hybrid and Chevrolet Cruze compact.
So, they’re spending almost half a billion on a factory that employs only three hundred people? That sounds like pretty good productivity (though it’s not going to do a lot for Flint’s continuing economic decline). How many engines will it produce per annum?
And where does all that money go? Tooling, purchased from other places? How much does that investment in building the plant itself help the Flint economy? Not a lot, I’d imagine, other than the construction itself. I’m guessing that most of those hundreds of millions are going to automated equipment and robots shipped in from somewhere else. So while it’s not great news for the city to delay or lose it, it’s not like it was going to save it economically.
[Update a few minutes later]
Here’s the original announcement from last summer, in the Flint Journal. I was wondering if the plant was going in where the old AC plant had been demolished, but it looks like it is/was planned to go on Van Slyke, over by the airport, and next to the truck plant.