GM To Build New Engine Plant in NY
TONAWANDA, N.Y. (AP) _ General Motors will invest more than $500 million to build a new engine plant at the site of its Powertrain facility a Buffalo suburb, officials said Wednesday.
The long-awaited announcement of the project _ believed to be the largest private-sector investment in the region since World War II _ means job security for workers at the plant at Tonawanda. It already is the country’s largest engine plant with about 4,000 employees.
The planned 711,000-square-foot facility is expected to employ more than 600 when it begins production in 2003. It will produce a six-cylinder, all-aluminum inline engine for use in a variety of GM cars and light trucks. Construction will begin later this year.
The current facility makes four-, six- and eight-cylinder engines, including the Global four-cylinder 2.2 L850 engine.
``GM’s decision sends a powerful message across the country that western New York can compete for and win major economic development investments because of the sweeping changes we have made to our business climate,″ said Gov. George Pataki, who made the announcement at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia.
He added: ``It is also a major vote of confidence in the GM workers, who earned this victory with their hard work.″
Among incentives offered to GM were a $5.25 million commitment by the state to upgrade roadways, $500,000 to improve access to the plant and $3.5 million to upgrade water and wastewater facilities that serve the plant.
The company is also eligible to apply for up to $2 million in Empire State Development employee training funds.
Arvin Mueller, General Motors Group vice president at GM Powertrain, called the decision ``a major step forward to ensure the future of the Tonawanda plant and the preservation of the maximum number of job opportunities.″