One day after announcing it would invest $36 million into its Lansing Delta Township factory General Motors has announced a smaller, $20 million investment at its Romulus plant. The investment will go toward purchasing machining equipment that will help expand the plant’s transmission production capacity. The factory currently builds V6 engines and 10-speed transmissions.
“Romulus has a long-standing reputation of quality, productivity, and performance and we are proud of the hard work and commitment displayed by the entire Romulus team,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra in the statement announcing the investment. “GM’s investment in Romulus will enable the plant to continue playing an important role in our core business going forward.”
General Motors uses the 10-speed gearboxes in a variety of models including the Chevrolet Silverado, Cadillac Escalade, and GMC Yukon, which are all part of wildly popular and growing segments of the automotive industry right now. Since 2009, GM has invested more than $880 million into the Romulus facility, which employs about 1,350 people.
Again, GM’s announcement about the investment comes as the automaker proceeds with its restructuring plan announced last year. The company wants to save $6 billion by 2020, focusing resources on high-profit vehicles like crossovers, SUVs, and trucks, while investing in future technologies such as electric and autonomous vehicles.
The automaker plans to reduce costs by laying off workers, idling five North American production facilities, and discontinuing several low-profit models. However, the optics and reception of GM’s plan have been less than stellar. Politicians, employees, and unions have all attacked the automaker to varying degrees since the November announcement.
But it’s not all doom and gloom for employees. GM has said it has 2,700 job opportunities for the 2,800 employees that would be affected by the company’s plan to the five plants. Nearly 1,000 have already decided to transfer to new facilities with General Motors adding 1,000 new jobs at its Flint Assembly plant to build the new 2020 Chevrolet Silverado and 2020 GMC Sierra heavy-duty pickups.