General Motors Co on Tuesday said it would invest about $890 million to upgrade five North American plants to build the next-generation V8 engine for its full-sized pickup trucks.
The investment will allow GM to retain laid-off workers, and perhaps create new jobs. In all, about 1,600 jobs would be restored or created, GM said.
Since emerging from bankruptcy, GM has committed to invest $2.3 billion at 22 U.S. and Canadian sites, restoring or creating about 9,100 jobs, the company said.
The automaker will invest $400 million at its plant in Tonawanda, New York; $235 million at St. Catharines, Ontario; $115 million at Defiance, Ohio; $111 million at Bedford, Indiana; and $32 million at Bay City, Michigan.
The plants will hire laid-off workers, but GM did not say how many new workers will be hired.
Two plants are to support engine production -- Tonawanda which will fill 710 jobs, and St. Catharines which will fill 400 jobs.
Three plants will support engine casting and component production -- Bedford which will retain or create 245 jobs, Defiance which will fill 189 jobs, and Bay City which is to fill 80 positions.
The new engines are designed to increase fuel efficiency of the full-sized pickup trucks as GM and other automakers attempt to meet stricter fuel economy standards that go into effect in 2016.
The engines are made with aluminum which will help increase fuel efficiency because they are lighter, GM said.
The engines will be capable of running on E85 ethanol, which consists of a mix of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.
A week ago, GM said it would invest $257 million at two plants, in Kansas City, Kansas, and at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant, which is included in the $2.3 billion of spending since bankruptcy.
(Reporting by Bernie Woodall and David Bailey in Detroit and John McCrank in Toronto; Editing by Frank McGurty, Lisa Von Ahn, Dave Zimmerman)