$668 Million Toledo Transmission Investment Offset by Job Cuts

By Xyla Joelle L. Fernandez

Nov 11, 2016 06:00 AM EST

General Motor's Co has plans to invest more than half a billion dollars in Toledo.

As part of a broader outline of the company's U.S. manufacturing plans, GM on Wednesday pledged to spend $668 million at its Toledo Transmission Plant in order to prepare the factory for an unspecified new product line. Company officials would not provide any details on what that product might be, but it is believed to be a new transmission. No new jobs are expected as a result of the investment, a spokesman said, and a start date for the work wasn't provided.The Toledo Transmission plant builds six and eight-speed transmissions that go in a variety of GM cars and trucks. 

The company has committed to investing more than $1 billion in the plant since 2011. GM promised new product investment at the Toledo plant, without stating a dollar amount, when it reached a national contract last year with the UAW. GM's announcement is believed to be tied to a plan submitted last month to the Toledo-Lucas County Plan Commission asking for approval to add more than 650,000 square feet to the facility's existing 2.2 million square feet, though the company wouldn't confirm that. 

Kevin Nadrowski said in an interview, "what's been talked about with the city, those are associated with the future product programs but at this point all we can state is what we've released today."

GM also announced a $37 million investment at Bedford Casting Operations in Indiana, and $211 million at Lansing Grand River Assembly. The company didn't provide specifics on the investments.

Michelle Krebs, an analyst with AutoTrader said that "GM's announcement that it is trimming production and laying off 2,000 workers comes as no surprise. Those production cuts are taking place at GM plants in Ohio and Michigan that produce cars, of which GM has too many in inventory."

GM plans to continue building any small cars in the United States is making them a bit of an outlier. Ford Motor Co. has announced it will shift production of the Focus and C-Max from Michigan to Mexico, while Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has already killed off the Dodge Dart and will discontinue the Chrysler 200 later this year. Some foreign automakers, including Honda and Toyota, still make small cars in the United States, though Toyota has announced plans to move some Corolla production from Canada to a new plant in Mexico.

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