GM picks Mich. plant to build new Silverado diesel engine

Chevy's 2019 Silverado. Photo credit: BLOOMBERG

UPDATED: 1/17/18 10:05 am ET - adds GM press release

DETROIT -- The new 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine coming in the redesigned 2019 Chevrolet Silverado will be manufactured in a General Motors engine plant in Flint, Mich.

Production of the engine -- designed at the General Motors diesel center of excellence in Turin -- will start late this year or early next year. 

GM Vice President of Global Propulsion Systems Dan Nicholson would not divulge technical details of the new fuel-efficient engine, but he confirmed that the Flint engine plant would be the production site.

In December 2015, GM announced a $263 million investment in Flint for a new engine plant, but didn’t say which engine would be made there. It’s the new inline six-cylinder diesel, GM confirmed Tuesday. GM expects to retain about 400 jobs once the new engine production line is up and running. The diesel engine will replace a V-6 that went out of production.

GM on Wednesday released a statement confirming the plans

Over the weekend, at the press debut of the new pickup, GM product chief Mark Reuss said Flint would play a "very important" role in the "long-term viability" of the pickup. He declined to offer any specifics.

"You're going to see some announcements around Flint," he said after unveiling the Silverado on Saturday in Detroit.

Flint Assembly produces regular and crew cab heavy-duty models of the Silverado and GMC Sierra.

The diesel engine, combined with a weight reduction of 450 pounds and a new, fuel-efficient 10-speed automatic transmission, is widely expected raise the Silverado's fuel economy to 30 mpg or more on the highway -- which would meet or beat the diesel-powered Ford F-150 debuting this year.

It also would give GM an industry-leading two trucks with highway fuel economy in the 30s. The diesel-powered Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon have EPA-certified fuel economy of 30 mpg.

The 3.0-liter engine is the first light-duty diesel available in a full-size GM pickup since the mid-1990s.

Nicholson said the new engine is an all-new GM design.

You can reach Richard Truett at rtruett@crain.com

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