General Motors plans to invest about $2 billion in U.S. assembly and component plants, creating or preserving more than 4,000 jobs at 17 facilities in eight states, the carmaker said in a statement.

We are doing this because we are confident about demand for our vehicles and the economy, GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson said during an event at the 54-year-old Toledo Transmission Plant. This new investment is on top of $3.4 billion and more than 9,000 jobs that GM has added or saved since mid-2009.

GM's U.S. sales through the first four months of the year are up 24.8 percent over 2010, and the company last week reported its fifth-consecutive profitable quarter since emerging from bankruptcy reorganization in July 2009.

The UAW's goal has been to return all laid-off workers to active status and see the company begin hiring again, said Joe Ashton, UAW vice president - GM Department. These announcements will create and retain thousands of jobs and bring General Motors back to full employment of our hourly workforce.

The first of the new investments -- $131 million and about 250 additional jobs in Bowling Green, Ky., -- was announced last week. Plant improvements and installation of new equipment to make the next generation Chevrolet Corvette will begin soon while the current-generation Corvette is assembled for at least the next two model years, the statement added.

Over the next few months, GM will make specific facility investment announcements dependent on successful completion of state and local incentives in some communities. According to the nonprofit Center for Automotive Research, the ripple effect of the planned investments would add almost $2.9 billion to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product and create or retain more than 28,000 jobs, it said.