General Motors and partner Isuzu plan to spend $175 million and create 100 new manufacturing jobs at a new joint-venture plant in Brookville, Ohio, to build components for DMAX diesel engines that in demand in GM’s new 2020 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.
GM said the new 251,000 square-foot plant will expand the production of critical engine components for the company’s current DMAX diesel engine manufacturing operation in the Dayton, Ohio suburb of Moraine, GM officials said.
“Strong demand for GM’s all-new family of Chevrolet and GMC heavy- and medium-duty pickups is driving us to find ways to build more Duramax diesel engines,” said Gerald Johnson, GM’s executive vice president of Global Manufacturing.
“The Brookville investment will enable us to machine more engine blocks and heads and ultimately enable our DMAX engine plant in Moraine to build more 6.6-liter diesel engines for our Flint truck assembly plant.”
Last week, hourly employees at the Flint (Michigan) Truck Assembly plant were told they would have to work mandatory overtime all Saturdays through December, prior to the Christmas break. The memo said the overtime was necessary to keep up with orders for heavy-duty pickups.
Otherwise the sales would be lost to competitors from Ford and Fiat Chrysler, according to the memo given hourly employee by GM, which was hit by a 40-day strike earlier this fall.
Heavy-duty trucks make up about 25% of full-size pickup sales in the U.S. The all-new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra HDs are purpose-built machines for people who need maximum capability, and the company is poised for significant growth in the HD pickup segment.
GM has consolidated heavy-duty pickup production at its Flint, Michigan truck assembly plant, where the company has installed new body and paint shops and created 1,000 new jobs to support a capacity increase of 40,000 units compared to the outgoing model.
GM’s launched its all-new family of Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra HD pickups earlier this year and began shipping the trucks to dealers in July prior to the strike.
The company said it will build dealer inventory levels through the first half of 2020. The company is sharply increasing production of crew cab and diesel models to meet growing customer demand.
DMAX is a joint venture, 60% owned by GM, 40 percent owned by Isuzu Diesel Services of America Inc.
The new investment will create more than 100 new manufacturing jobs at the Brookville site. Preliminary work has already begun at the site. Construction on the new facility will be completed by the end of 2020. When the new Brookville site is up and running, it will operate concurrently with the DMAX operations in Moraine.
DMAX has built more than 2 million diesel engines since the facility opened in 1999. DMAX currently employs nearly 900 and its 670 hourly employees are represented by IUE-CWA Local 755 and the new jobs at Brookville are not part of commitment GM made to the United Auto Workers to settle the strike.
Meanwhile, GM is preparing to shut down its Detroit-Hamtramck plant at the end of February 2020 to prepare the plant for the production of a new electric vehicles, starting in 2021. The shutdown of the “Poletown” plant was anticipated in the settlement with the UAW and the more than 814 workers in the plant will now transfer to other jobs in the manufacturing system, including Flint, as outlined in the new contract.