Just one year after inaugurating a new production line inside the complex in December 2019, General Motors has just reached the milestone of building its one-millionth engine at the Joinville plant in Brazil, the company’s main powertrain facility in South America. This is currently the only factory in the region that produces eighth-generation Ecotec engines for the latest Chevrolet vehicles.
Since its official opening in early 2013, the Joinville plant has been dedicated to manufacturing Chevrolet Onix engines, which in a few years became the best-selling vehicle in Brazil and all of Latin America. The powertrain facility began its activities with the production of all four-cylinder engines for the first-generation Onix.
General Motors surpassed the one-million mark for engines built at the Joinville plant thanks to a significant investment equivalent to some $472 million USD, with work completed at the end of last year. This outlay made it possible to quadruple the size of the factory and upgrade its entire production line to build the new generation of three-cylinder engines that today equip the new second-generation Chevrolet Onix and the all-new Chevrolet Tracker.
This project allowed the most modern engine plant in Brazil to increase its maximum capacity from 174,000 units built to a significant peak of 417,000 units last year. At the Joinville complex, the automaker builds the most advanced engines in South America, with dual variable valve heads and aluminum blocks.
Specifically, the Joinville plant currently manufactures the three state-of-the-art engines that power Chevrolet’s highest-selling vehicles in the Brazilian market and throughout the region. These are the 82-horsepower, naturally aspirated 1.0L I3 in the base variants of the Onix, the 116-horsepower turbocharged 1.0L I3 shared by the Onix and Tracker, in addition to the 133-horsepower turbo 1.2L I3 that’s exclusive to the Tracker.
Moreover, General Motors’ Joinville plant is a worldwide benchmark in sustainability and for the high technology of its manufacturing process, with an industry 4.0 automation level in most stations of the assembly line. In this sense, the automation in the transport of parts and the fleet of factory forklifts stand out, in addition to the 90 robots that operate an integrated and intelligent system which monitors each part by its serial number.