PRLog - May 16, 2011 - DETROIT -- DETROIT, M.I. – MI car dealers may have heard the announcement Tuesday as General Motors prepared to create more jobs across eight states, which would add up to 4,000 new and retained jobs for plant workers. Along with new jobs, General Motors is using solar power to create efficiency at its Detroit-Hamtramck plant.
GM Solar Panels Layout at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant. Photo by General Motors.
General Motors CEO, Dan Akerson, announced the corporation would be investing $2 billion into 17 plants that span eight states in the Midwest. Of the 4,000 jobs that will be available, MI car dealers are happy to hear 2,653 will be in Michigan alone.
General Motors has also announced that it will first offer the available positions to 1,350 workers who had recently been laid off before adding any new workers to the plant lines across the eight states.
The 4,000 jobs will be divided among GM properties as follows:
• Toledo and Bowling Green, Ky will get 250 available positions
• Saginaw, MI will receive 50 plant jobs
• Warren Tech Center in Michigan will have up to 25 jobs
These jobs are on top of the 1,000 engineers that GM is hiring to work on electric vehicles in Michigan.
At the engine plant in Flint, MI, General Motors is investing $80 million to increase production of the engine that is stocked in the Chevrolet Volt and Chevrolet Cruze, which will create 60 jobs for factory workers. Also, the engine and transmission parts factory in Bay City, MI will receive $20 million as well as 18 positions available.
At this point, there are still more than 10 plants that MI car dealers have not heard any announcement about. GM may be making more announcements as the week continues.
It has been predicted by Sean McAlinden, a Senior Economist for the Center for Automotive Research, that the Detroit Three could add as many as 35,000 new jobs by 2015, with most of them landing in Michigan.
Solar Panels and Other Automaker Green Initiatives
MI car dealers have heard General Motors has officially broke ground as the corporation is planning to build solar panels on six acres in front of its Detroit-Hamtramck plant. The goal is to not only produce one of the most efficient vehicles, the Chevrolet Volt, but to create a more green production process as the popular extended-range electric car is produced for higher demand.
"This isn't only going green for green's sake," said Bob Ferguson, GM's Vice President of Global Public Policy, in a Detroit Free Press article. "This is about reducing this plant's environmental footprint and reducing our bottom line."
DTE Energy is an energy provider for residential and commercial locations in Michigan and nationwide, and it’s the company that will own and operate the 516-kilowatt system as part of its Solar Currents program. General Motors will see a lower energy bill by $15,000 annually. Also, with changes in more efficient lighting and equipment updates, GM will see energy costs at Detroit-Hamtramck by nearly $3 million annually.
Ford Motor Corp is also working toward more efficiency at its plants and the automaker plans to begin using dandelion roots in cup holders, floor mats and interior trims. The substance that can be extracted from the roots can be used to produce a more sustainable rubber.
“We’re always looking for new sustainable materials to use in our vehicles that have a smaller carbon footprint to produce and can be grown locally,” said Angela Harris, a Ford Research Engineer, in a Ford press release. “Synthetic rubber is not a sustainable resource, so we want to minimize its use in our vehicles when possible. Dandelions have the potential to serve as a great natural alternative to synthetic rubber in our products.”
As for Chrysler, the company has seen a 40 percent efficiency improvement in its lineup and has said that more improvements are on the way. Sixteen Chrysler models have been redesigned or refreshed in just over a one year, while Chrysler is still guiding its business back on track from its bankruptcy.
MI car dealers are sure to see more upgrades and changes from the Detroit Three and across their vehicle lineups as the 2016 Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standard deadline mandated by the federal government approaches Check back with MI Auto Times for continued updates.
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[Source(s): Detroit Free Press, ABC News, Ford Media]