General Motors announced a $332 million investment into new powertrains today, including an eight-speed transmission slated for some of its vehicles by 2016.
Also part of the announcement is a new V6 engine, a new Ecotec small gas engine, and new tooling for an existing six-speed transmission.
The new eight-speeds will be built at GM’s Toledo Transmission Operations plant, where the brand will be investing $55.7 million this year. The General says that the eight-speed will be in use in a number of products by 2016, two of which are almost certain.
The 2014 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra are a shoe in to get the transmission, to help them fight the war that is being waged for increased pickup truck fuel economy. During a conference call about the trucks, GM executives confirmed that the transmissions will be updated in the Silverado and Sierra, although specific details weren’t discussed.
The other product almost certainly getting an eight-speed is the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette. Early reports suggested the new Vette was going to get the eight-speed, but that didn’t come true because the new transmission wasn’t ready in time.
The new 2014 Cadillac CTS is one of the first new products from the General to receive an eight-speed transmission, but it is supplied by Aisin. The control systems, programming and features however are all GM designed, but the unit itself isn’t produced by GM yet.
GM is also putting $215 million into Flint Engine Operations, which will build a a new small EcoTec gasoline engine that is part of a new global family of three- and four-cylinder engines. Rumors suggest that the next Volt will use a three-cylinder powerplant as a range extender, which seems more likely now that this engine has been announced, and because it will be produced in the U.S.
The last of the investment is for new tooling for an existing six-speed transmission, and for an all-new V6 engine. GM has poured $1.8 billion into six Powertrain facilities since 2009.
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