General Motors Co. said today that it plans to build its next-generation four-cylinder Ecotec engine at its former Saturn plant in Spring Hill, Tenn.
The company plans to begin production of the fuel efficient engine in Spring Hill in 2013, as well as at a plant in Tonawanda, N.Y., in 2012, an unidentified GM spokesperson told the Detroit Free Press.
The Spring Hill plant currently builds Ecotec engines for the GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Equinox crossovers and the Chevy Malibu, and Buick Lacrosse sedans.
The former Saturn assembly plant in Spring Hill was idled last year in the wake of GM’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.
GM plans to recall 1,045 workers for powertrain production at the Spring Hill factory. In the future, the Spring Hill and Tonawanda plants will make all versions of the Ecotec engines.
GM plans to make a formal announcement about the plans Friday at the Spring Hill plant.
The Ecotec 2.4-liter engines are designed to provide reduced noise and friction while achieving 182 hp and 172 pounds-feet of torque. The engine’s direct-fuel-injection feature can reduce cold-start hydrocarbon emissions 25 percent.
The all-aluminum engine features chain-driven, dual-overhead camshafts; variable valve timing; electronic throttle control; and automatic tension adjusters for the timing chain, GM says.