At the GM Powertrain Engineering Development Center in Pontiac Mich a technician monitors nonfueled loaded spin testing of a sixspeed transmission General Motors Co.

At the GM Powertrain Engineering Development Center in Pontiac, Mich., a technician monitors non-fueled loaded spin testing of a six-speed transmission.

GM Banking $200M on Powertrain Engineering

GM Powertrain will reduce product development time, cost Pontiac will host electric and battery power R&D Testing engines for durability, reliability, quality

General Motors Co. plans to invest $200 million to expand operations at its Global Powertrain Engineering headquarters in Pontiac, Mich., and consolidate functions there from four other operations. The automaker said the capital investments are part of the plans it announced previously to invest $1.5 billion in North American operations. At Pontiac, GM will build a 138,000-sq.-ft. testing center that would be available in the second half of 2014.

“These moves will help our entire Powertrain team work more effectively across the organization to develop the powertrain technologies we need to build the world’s best vehicles for our customers around the world,” stated Sam Winegarden, GM vice president of Global Engine Engineering.

In 2008, GM consolidated seven Powertrain Engineering operations at Pontiac from various Michigan locations, and it said the coming combination would reduce its total footprint by 640,000 sq. ft. and eliminate three leased facilities.

The leased operations are in Wixom, Mich., Castleton, Ind. and Torrance, Calif. A fourth powertrain operation, GM R&D’s Propulsion Systems Research lab in Warren, Mich. will relocate to the Pontiac campus.

Previously announced that its hydrogen fuel cell operation would move from in Honeoye Falls, N.Y., to Pontiac. That shift will happen this year.

With the addition of the testing center, GM’s Powertrain Development Center in Pontiac will be a 450,000 sq.-ft. facility that the automaker predicts will bring engine technologies to market faster and less expensively, because it will reduce development time. Engineers will test engines for durability, reliability and quality under extreme conditions, including cold ambient temperatures, high RPMs, and repetitive starting and stopping.

"Next-generation advanced propulsion technologies"

Functionally, GM said expanding and consolidating powertrain operations at Pontiac would reduce development time for its “next-generation advanced propulsion technologies.”

The Wixom site also will lose GM’s Performance Build Center, an engine plant. That operation will move early in 2014 to Bowling Green, Ky., where GM assembles Chevrolet Corvettes.

The Wixom Advanced Engineering Lab, including electric motor engineering development and performance engineering, will relocated to Pontiac by mid-2015.

The Torrance Advanced Technology Center’s work on electric motor and power electronics engineering development will shift to Pontiac by the end of 2014.

Heavy-duty transmission, power electronics, hybrid and battery electric drive unit development work done at Castleton will relocate to Pontiac by mid-2014.

GM R&D’s Propulsion Systems Research Lab will relocate to Pontiac during the second half of 2015.

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