With General Motors shifting its North American production around, workers at the automaker’s Tonawanda Engine plant in Buffalo are happy to have been allocated production of the automaker’s new 6.6-liter V8 gasoline engine.
The 6.6-liter engine, dubbed the L8T, will serve in the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD and 2020 GMC Sierra HD. Heavy duty trucks are an important part of GM’s business and the 6.6-liter engine will be the more popular engine choice in the HD trucks, so naturally, the local United Auto Workers union is grateful to have been selected to produce the engine.
“This is probably one of GM’s most important engines. All the truck engines are,” United Auto Workers Local 774 shop chariman Chuck Herr told The Buffalo News. “That’s what GM’s making all their money on right now. For them to have the confidence in Tonawanda, it’s an honor.”
“There’s a lot of pride when you see a truck going down the road and it’s got your engine in it,” Herr added.
The future of Tonawanda, which currently has 1,500 hourly and salaried employees, looks bright. While production of GM’s 2.5-liter and 2.0-liter engines will slow down at the plant due to the death of cars like the Chevrolet Cruze and Chevrolet Impala, it also has the 4.3-liter V6 and 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V8 engines for the Silverado, Tahoe and Suburban to lean on.
“We do supply engines to both cars and the smaller SUVs,” Ram Ramanujam, Tonawanda plant director, told The Buffalo News. “So at this point we’ve seen some impact, but nothing of great significance.We’ll continue to monitor that.”
The 6.6-liter V8 engine for the Silverado HD and Sierra HD is rated at an SAE-certified 401 horsepower at 5,200 RPM and 464 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 RPM. It will be paired with GM’s six-speed automatic transmission (6L90) in both of the trucks, with two-wheel drive standard and four-wheel drive available at cost.
(source: The Buffalo News)