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GM Investing $65 Mil to Boost 4-Cylinder Engine Production

Fuel prices driving shift in buyer demand.

by on Jun.20, 2011

General Motors Tonawanda Powertrain employee Tim Battaglia works on an Ecotec I-4 engine.

Rising fuel prices have triggered a marked shift in what motorists are buying these days, especially when it comes to engine choices – and that has prompted General Motors to invest more than $65 million in plants in New York and Tennessee to expand production of the Ecotec four-cylinder engines used in Chevrolet’s most fuel-efficient cars and crossovers.

While GM has continued offering 6-cylinder powertrains on many models, rising demand for four-cylinder designs is leading to aggressive shifts in both vehicle design and production plans.  Some mainstream makers, such as Hyundai, are all but abandoning sixes in midsize and smaller offerings.

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“GM is committed to investing in manufacturing and jobs in the U.S.,” said Cathy Clegg,GM’s vice president of labor relations during an announcement at the maker’s Tonawanda plant, in New York. “These investments in powertrain manufacturing technology will help us meet the growing needs of our customers for high quality, fuel efficient vehicles – both today and in the future.”