General Motors will invest $47 million in its Defiance Powertrain plant, Ohio, to purchase tooling and equipment to increase volume of components for the fuel-efficient Ecotec 1.4L engine.

This investment reflects the growing demand for fuel-efficient vehicles, such as the Chevrolet Cruze, Volt and the all-new Sonic, GM Manufacturing Manager Arvin Jones said Friday. The products produced here will help our customers deal with rising fuel prices.

The Defiance Casting Operations plant, which opened in 1948, produces 5.8 million parts annually. It was last upgraded in 2010 to enable the facility to produce parts for the 1.4L engine.

Defiance currently has 1,277 hourly and salaried employees.

Today's announcement is part of the $2 billion in U.S. investment that GM recently announced for 17 facilities in eight states. This is on top of $3.4 billion invested and 9,000 jobs created or retained in the United States since mid-2009, the statement further added.