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GM Plans High-Tech Campus in Mich.

September 20, 1999

MILFORD, Mich. (AP) _ General Motors Corp. will invest $200 million over five years to convert its Milford Proving Ground into a high-tech campus.

The investment for the 4,000-acre site will attempt to better mesh individual divisions and establish a team environment to promote innovation, the company said.

``We’ve had incredible success over the years, but we eventually wound up with 107 buildings ... that had no common function or identity,″ James I. Gutting, director of Milford Proving Ground operations, told The Detroit News for a Sunday story. ``(We) found there are benefits to putting activities together.″

Upcoming improvements include:

_A $60 million vehicle performance integration center, which will bring car and truck testing under one roof. Work on the center will start in the fall and be completed in 2002.

_A $60 million expansion of the electromagnetic compatibility center, where the automaker tests everything from cell phones to radio beams to make sure they don’t interfere with a vehicle’s computer or navigation systems.

_A new $10.5 million commons center, to be made of glass and steel tubes, designed to showcase GM’s latest products and offer a reception area, cafeteria and auditorium.

The proving ground, which has 132 miles of test roads, including a 4.5-mile circular track where vehicles travel as fast as 110 mph, was established in 1924.

Following the expansion, GM plans to have 5,000 employees _ up from the current 4,800 _ at the proving ground.

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