Feb. 05--DMAX Ltd. will invest $60 million into its Moraine plant.
The changes will help the facility meet federal emissions requirements. The investment protects some 500 jobs at the joint venture between General Motors and Isuzu.
DMAX has produced almost 1.6 million diesel truck engines since opening in 2000. GM owns 60 percent and Isuzu 40 percent of the joint venture that makes the Duramax diesel engines for heavy-duty trucks.
The engine goes into trucks often used in construction, engineering, infrastructure, medical services and other industries, such as the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. The Duramax is also available in the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana full-size vans.
"Today's announcement demonstrates GM's commitment to continuously invest in technologies that reduce the impact of our vehicles on the environment, while maintaining performance attributes required by customers in the areas of towing and hauling loads," GM North America Manufacturing Manager Christine Sitek said in an announcement Wednesday.
DMAX has invested $760 million in its Dryden Road plant since 2000.
GM spokeswoman Mary Ann Brown could not say when physical work at the plant will begin, but she said the modifications will be complete for GM trucks' 2017 model year.
It's possible there will be temporary new construction jobs at the plant, but GM does not anticipate new hires there, Brown said.
DMAX makes the Duramax 6.6L turbo diesel engine. The current Duramax is certified at 397 horsepower at 3,000 rpm and 765 lb-ft of torque at a low 1,600 rpm.
Brown could not say how emissions-related modifications will affect future performance of the engine.
"The successful partnership between GM, Isuzu and IUE-CWA Local 755 continues to bring new investment dollars to our plant," Maho Mitsuya, DMAX president and chief operating officer, said in the company's statement. "The Duramax diesel's performance is renowned in the industry, and these updates to improve our emissions will make it that much better."
The announcement is the second round of good auto manufacturing-related news for the city of Moraine in less than a month.
On Jan. 10, the chairman of Chinese manufacturer Fuyao Glass, Cao Dewang, signed an agreement in Columbus confirming his company's intention to open an auto glass manufacturing operation in GM's former plant between Kettering Boulevard and Ohio 741, near the DMAX plant.
Fuyao is researching the prospective purchase of 1.4 million square feet of the plant, and if the deal goes forward, the company expects to employ about 800 workers there in the next few years, company representatives have said.
The DMAX plant is the last facility co-owned by GM remaining in the Dayton area. GM ceased auto assembly at its Moraine plant -- the facility Fuyao is considering -- in December 2008. A Southern California industrial re-developer bought the property in the spring of 2011.
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Original headline: Local plant wins $60M GM/Isuzu investment
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