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GM to build $370 million plant for Volt engine in Flint
General Motors  Corp. Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner this morning announced the automaker will invest $370 million in a new manufacturing plant here that will produce a new 4-cylinder engine for the Chevrolet Volt, an extended-range electric vehicle.

In return, GM is receiving millions in tax incentives to build the Volt, which will help ensure Flint, a once-thriving company town that has lost thousands of jobs as the automaker has struggled, will play a key role in the GM's future.

"We are confident that Flint is exactly the right place to build our all-new powertrain plant," Wagoner said in release preceding an event at the Flint Engine South plant, which was expected to draw Gov. Jennifer Granholm and other state and local officials.

"Our competitive business climate, outstanding workforce and aggressive strategy to diversify our economy put us in a strong position to win this project and be the state that helps GM produce the cars and trucks that will help end our nation's dependence on foreign oil," Granholm said in a prepared statement.

GM will start building the 552,000-square-foot plant immediately with construction expected to finish in 2010. The investment is expected to retain about 300 hourly jobs. GM employs about 6,000 at five facilities in Flint, down from about 60,000 during its heyday.

Two engines will be built here: A 1.4-liter turbo engine for the new Chevrolet Cruze, scheduled to debut next year, and a 1.4-liter naturally aspirated engine for the Volt.

The engines are expected to play a role in GM doubling global production of small four-cylinder engines by 2011. Flint will be the exclusive North American engine plant for the Volt.

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