General Motors plans to consolidate powertrain engineering from several leased facilities into a new $200-million facility at its sprawling Pontiac engineering complex.
The company said today that it will build a 138,000-square-foot addition to its 450,000-square-foot Global Powertrain Engineering Headquarters. Construction is expected to start within months and wrap up by the second half of 2014.
In the move, GM will shift about 400 jobs to the Pontiac complex, which employs about 3,500 workers, from leased offices in Wixom, Castleton, Ind., and Torrance, Calif., and an R&D laboratory at GM's Technical Center in Warren.
Most of the workers at those sites will be offered jobs in Pontiac while others will be given the chance to transfer to other GM sites, said Sam Winegarden, GM vice president of global engine engineering.
"This will help us move more efficiently and effectively" to bring products to market quickly, Winegarden said.
GM said that by the first quarter of 2014, it would also move its small Performance Build Center from Wixom to the Bowling Green, Ky., assembly plant that builds the Chevrolet Corvette. That move affects 20 hourly workers, who will be given the chance to transfer to Kentucky or other GM sites in accordance with the company's UAW contract rules.
The company's Wixom R&D lab, which has 28 salaried employees, is moving to Pontiac by mid-2015. The Castleton move affects 80 workers.
GM's Propulsion Systems Research lab in Warren will move to Pontiac, affecting about 88 employees.
GM said last year that it would move its hydrogen fuel-cell research and development work from a Rochester, N.Y., area facility to Pontiac. About 225 workers were given the opportunity to go to Pontiac, though Winegarden declined to say how many accepted the offer.
Gov. Rick Snyder and U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, D-Mich., were jubilant about the news of jobs coming to Pontiac -- and specifically, the 114 jobs from California.
"I'll be perfectly honest with you," Peters said. "I like seeing that."
The expansion comes after GM received a 12-year tax abatement last year for an $87.6-million investment in the facility. Winegarden said GM had also negotiated incentives from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. but declined to reveal details.
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