A worker at Ford Motor Co.’s Livonia Transmission Plant assembles a truck transmission. The automaker plans to invest $1.4 billion to upgrade the facility. Southeast Michigan’s automakers announced a slate of plant investments between April and June, and FCA announced two major upgrades in July. Combined, companies announced more than $5.5 billion in North American spending. www.fcanorthamerica.com, www.ford.com, www.gm.com Plant investments include $788.7 million for new engines and vehicle upgrades Spring Hill (Tennessee) Manufacturing, General Motors
The modernization projection will create 792 jobs and retain 16. Since 2010, GM has announced investments of more than $2 billion for the Spring Hill operations. This includes a $148-million investment announced in February to repurpose flexible machining and assembly equipment to build V-8 engines. Construction began in May and will last several years. The complex includes a flexible vehicle assembly plant producing the Cadillac XT5 and the GMC Acadia, an engine plant making four-cylinder engines, a stamping plant, a body shop, a paint shop, and two polymer injection molding operations.
$290 million for new equipment, processeses Bowling Green (Kentucky) Assembly, General Motors
Flexible tooling investments come in addition to a previously announced $439 million paint plant announcement for the Chevrolet Corvette facility. Facility improvements are planned to begin this summer.
$118 million for tooling upgrades Bay City (Michigan) Powertrain, General Motors
Investments will create 29 jobs and retain 67. The engine parts plant opened in 1892 as National Cycle Mfg. Co. and produced a new bicycle to replace old high-wheeled types. In 1916, William Durant and Louis Chevrolet added the plant to the GM portfolio in 1918. GM has invested or will invest $249.4 million in Bay City Powertrain since 2010.
$700 million plant for next-generation Jeep Wrangler Toledo (Ohio) Assembly Complex, FCA US LLC
About 700 jobs will be created as FCA prepares for a radically redesigned version of its popular sport utility vehicle. Officials have said the future Jeep will use more aluminum, making it nearly impossible to build it at the existing facility.
$350 million to build the Jeep Cherokee Belvidere (Illinois) Assembly Plant, FCA US LLC
The Cherokee’s 2017 move to Illinois from Toledo will create approximately 300 new jobs. Production of the Dodge Dart and the Jeep Compass/Jeep Patriot will end in September 2016 and December 2016, respectively.
$75 million for upgrades Trenton (Michigan) Engine Complex, FCA US LLC
Retooling the north plant to produce next-generation four-cylinder engines will retain 245 jobs. The engine will be assembled on the flexible production line that was installed in 2012. Production will begin in the third quarter of 2017. The engine will provide increased power, while improving fuel economy and reducing CO2 emissions. The four-cylinder engine will replace the 3.6L Pentastar V-6 assembled at Trenton North. Pentastar engine production will continue at Trenton South, Mack Avenue Engine (Michigan), and Saltillo South (Mexico).
$1.6 billion new small car plant San Luis Potosi, Mexico, Ford Motor Co.
Construction has begun for the 2,800-job plant that should be fully operational by 2020. The investment is part of the company’s One Ford global product and manufacturing plan. During the past five years, Ford has invested more than $10.2 billion in Ford facilities in the U.S., $2.7 billion in facilities and supplier tooling in Spain, $2.4 billion in Germany, and – with the company’s partners – $4.8 billion in China.
$1.4 billion for 10-speed truck transmissions Livonia (Michigan) Transmission Plant, Ford Motor Co.
Creating or retaining 500 hourly jobs in Michigan, the plant upgrade will supply fuel-efficient transmissions for the F-150 and future vehicle models. Livonia Transmission employs more than 1,550 people who build six-speed transmissions used in the Mustang, F-150, Transit, and Expedition. Production began in June for the 10-speed transmission.
$200 million to add F-Series Super Duty chassis-cab production Ohio Assembly Plant, Ford Motor Co. Formerly a commercial van plant, the Cleveland-area Ohio Assembly Plant will add 150 jobs to make stripped-down versions of F-350, F-450, and F-550 trucks. The 1,650-person facility already makes the F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks.
London double-decker bus to use Cummins diesel engine
An iconic Routemaster red bus uses the Cummins ISB4.5 clean diesel engine to meet the Ultra-Low Emission Zone standards planned to take effect in congested areas of London, England, from 2018 to 2020. The AEC Routemaster RM1005 double-deck bus, which first entered service in 1962, now has the distinction of being the oldest bus to meet the latest Euro VI emissions standards.
The bus owner, Sir Peter Hendy CBE, former commissioner of transport for London, challenged the Cummins engineers to extend the operating life of RM1005 with a cost-efficient repower package, hoping to enable other Routemasters to continue operating in London.
The Cummins 4.5L ISB clean diesel engine has integrated exhaust after-treatment, ensuring that despite the new technology, the bus will look the same as non-upgraded models.