GM opens Volt engine plant in Michigan

General Motors Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner poses with the Chevrolet Volt electric concept car at the GM exhibit at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in January.


Scott Jagow: Everybody seem to wants some money from the government. The car industry wants some guaranteed loans and just got $25 billion from Congress to help get more fuel efficient in the industry. We have more now from Mitchell Hartman.

Mitchell Hartman: Today in Flint, Michigan, GM executives and local officials will tout a new $359 million dollar auto plant. It'll make a new breed of small, fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines for the Chevy Cruze and Chevy Volt. David Cole heads up the Center for Automotive Research. He says GM is finally getting real about putting new energy-saving technology under the hood.

David Cole: When you're sort of changing the whole directional thrust of the company away from the traditional more power and more performance toward much improvement in fuel economy, this is an absolutely necessary investment.

Cole says the price tag will be steep -- $80 billion to $100 billion to meet new fuel-efficiency standards. Developing gasoline-free cars that run on hydrogen fuel-cells or battery power alone will cost even more. Down-and-out U.S. car makers don't exactly have a lot of cash laying around. So expect the industry to be back asking Congress for another $25 billion or so next year.

I'm Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

About the author

Mitchell Hartman is the senior reporter for Marketplace’s Entrepreneurship Desk and also covers employment.
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hey thats great they are building this plant. my dad worked back in the 80s he was a fuel cell engineer and helped do research and development for the electric cars and fuel cell cars. thats great they are finally utilizing what he helped develop. I get tears in my eyes knowing hes not around to see it put to use. anyways gang I am stuck down here in Rockford Illinois not being a genius like my dad I work on the assembly line at Chrysler Corp as a part time tpe I was wondering how to get an application to apply for the flint jobs. somebody at work told me his wife just got hired at flint G.M. well we got people from michigan, alabama, newyork they transfered from those chrysler plants to come down to belvidere. so I am looking for a full time job. let me know how to get an application? thanks

well, so much for capitalism and a "free" market. why not just nationalize it all? the taxpayers are footing the bill, so might as well own the lot. however did Toyota and Honda manage to this without a socialist bailout? maybe few fat cat execs. love Wagoner's suit, at least $10K.

Ford claims to make a clean diesel engine in Europe. Why can't they make it here and stop giving the market away to Honda and Toyota?

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