General Motors has said that it would invest $163.2 million in its operations in Flint and Bay City, Michigan, and Defiance, Ohio. This investment is to support engine production for the Chevrolet Volt, Chevrolet Cruze and a new small car.

The company also noted that this investment will protect around 184 jobs across the three plants, the carmaker said in a statement.

This investment is essential in ensuring we can meet the expected high demand for the Chevrolet Volt, Chevrolet Cruze and a small car that will be produced at our Orion Township facility, said Kathleen Dilworth, Flint Engine Operations plant manager. These three facilities will continue to play a key role in GM's resurgence and efforts to bring to market vehicles with segment-leading fuel economy.

The investments will be used to increase production of the Ecotec 1.4-liter engine that is used in the Chevrolet Cruze and a 1.4L variant used in the Chevrolet Volt. Flint Engine is expected to start production of 400 engines a day in early 2011 and ramp up to 800 engines a day in late 2011. The newest investment increases its capacity to 1,200 a day in late 2012, the statement said.

GM has invested over $3.3 billion and created or retained more than 8,000 jobs in 21 U.S. plants since emerging from bankruptcy last year, according to the company. The automaker has earned $4.77 billion in the first nine months of the year.

This investment is essential in ensuring we can meet the expected high demand for the Chevrolet Volt, Chevrolet Cruze and a small car that will be produced at our Orion Township facility, said Kathleen Dilworth, Flint Engine Operations plant manager.