General Motors said Monday it will invest $71 million into two manufacturing plants in Ohio.
The investments, which GM said would help it retain 240 jobs, include $39 million at the company’s Toledo transmission plant and $32 million at its Defiance casting plant, according to an announcement from the company.
“The Toledo investment will be used to upgrade and enhance the production of GM’s eight-speed rear-wheel-drive transmission and the Defiance investment will be used to prepare the facility for future engine casting components work,” the company said.
The news comes on the same day the state tax agency in Ohio ordered GM to repay $28 million in tax incentives connected to its former Lordstown Assembly Plant, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
GM, which made its Cruze sedan at the plant until last year, sold the Lordstown plant to a company that plans to produce its electric Endurance pickup there. The Dispatch said GM agreed as part of the Lordstown tax deal to invest $12 million in the area related to education and other programs. The Dispatch also reported that an unspecified amount of incentives were approved for a joint venture called Ultium Cells with South Korea’s LG Chem to build a new battery cell plant in Lordstown. That $2.3 billion investment is supposed to generate more than 1,100 jobs.
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GM spokesman Dan Flores said the Toledo and Defiance investment news is independent of anything that would have been announced as part of last year’s labor agreement with the UAW.
GM employs about 1,700 workers at Toledo Transmission Operations, which opened in 1916. They produce six-, eight- and 10-speed rear-wheel and nine-speed front-wheel-drive transmissions for various GM vehicles. Defiance Casting Operations has about 580 employees who produce cylinder block and cylinder head castings for inline-four, V6 and V8 engines in various vehicles, GM said.
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“Through these investments, GM continues to strengthen its significant manufacturing presence in Ohio,” Phil Kienle, GM vice president of North American Manufacturing and Labor Relations, said in a news release. “Our Toledo and Defiance teams continue to focus on building world-class products for our customers and these actions are an investment in their futures.”
The UAW also released a statement, via spokesman Brian Rothenberg, about the investments:
“By committing $71 million in investments at the Toledo Transmission Plant and Defiance Casting Plant, General Motors is demonstrating its commitment to the long history and quality craftsmanship of UAW members. These investments create job security for UAW GM members, their families and the Toledo and Defiance communities.”
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