General Motors announced today that it will move all of its North American powertrain engineering to a single facility being built in Pontiac, Mich.
Construction began today on the GM Performance and Racing Center (GMPRC), which will focus on race engine development and will include an electric motor laboratory and gear center. The work that began today is expected to yield a usable facility by mid-2015 with a goal for total project completion by early 2016. It also underscores a growing effort by General Motors to develop future powertrain technologies.
Aside from improving General Motors racing efforts, powertrain development will be more efficient for the company by consolidating its four satellite locations into one campus. The company also said today that it expects the move to reduce development times for “next-generation advanced propulsion technologies.”
“Connecting our race engineers with our global powertrain engineering teams will improve our customers’ powertrains in terms of efficiency, reliability and durability,” GM Global powertrain boss Steve Kiefer said.
At the beginning of the month, General Motors also announced that it is investing $65 million into its Brownstown Battery Assembly plant as well as a $384 million investment into its Hamtramck facility primarily used for assembling the Volt and global derivative models.
General Motors is expected to launch a redesigned version of the Volt in 2015 and LMC Automotive analyst Jeff Schuster said he also forecasts that GM will launch another electric compact vehicle based on the Volt, but without an on board gasoline engine for range extension.
Today’s announcement underscores General Motors’ intent to continue developing electric powertrains at the same time as Tesla is racing to build its $5 billion battery factory. The plan is crucial for Tesla to continue succeeding, especially as General Motors focuses its army of engineering talent into a single facility.
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