GM Announces $69M Investment to Built 6.6-Liter Duramax V8 Diesels That Meet 2010 Emissions
By: Mike LevinePosted: 02-05-08 07:17 PT
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General Motors has announced it will invest $69 million to build 6.6-liter V8 Duramax diesel engines that are compliant with 2010 federal emissions regulations.

The investment will be made in the DMAX plant in Morraine, Ohio, a joint venture with Isuzu Motors Limited, that has already built over 1,000,000 6.6-L motors for use in GM's trucks, like the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra heavy duty pickups.

GM will continue to work with Isuzu manufacturing the 6.6-L V8 version of the Duramax diesel engine after 2010. A 4.5-liter V8 Duramax announced by GM last year was engineered internally and will be built without Isuzu's participation at GM's plant in Tonawanda, NY near Buffalo.

The new 6.6-L Duramax engines will use selective catalytic reduction (SCR) to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOX) levels in the exhaust. GM won't confirm, but it's likely this means the engine will use urea for NOX scrubbing. Urea is a fluid that has to be re-filled periodically. In contrast, the Cummins I6 in the Dodge Ram heavy duty pickup uses an 'Adsorber' catalyst that uses precious metals to reduce NOX, without the need to refill a fluid.

GM's press release below:

General Motors Corp. (GM) announced today an investment of $69 million in its DMAX plant in Moraine to manufacture a new Duramax 6.6-liter V-8 turbo diesel engine that will meet stringent emissions standards in 2010. DMAX Limited is a joint venture between GM and Isuzu Motors Limited and was established as a diesel engine company in 1998.

The investment includes renovations to the plant, new machinery and tooling to support manufacturing of the new diesel engine. Renovations are expected to begin immediately. As a result of the investment, the DMAX plant will retain over 1,000 jobs.

"GM is transforming its committed to continuing to product portfolio to reduce fuel consumption and emissions across its portfolio and around the world., and the 2010 Duramax diesel is an integral part of that transformation, as well as a component of GM's strategy to diversify vehicle energy sources," said John Buttermore, GM Powertrain vice president of global manufacturing. "This new investment demonstrates GM's commitment to continue to invest in technologies that reduce the impact of our vehicles on the environment, while maintaining performance attributes required by customers in the areas of towing and hauling loads."

Today's announcement brings GM's total investment in the State of Ohio to more than $1 billion over the last two years.

"Our investment in the DMAX joint venture is a significant vote of confidence in our employees and IUE-CWA Local 797, who have demonstrated their commitment and dedication to benchmark performance in safety, quality and efficiency required in today's competitive business climate," continued Buttermore. "This joint venture is one of GM’s great examples great example of what can be achieved with a successful global partnership and I extend my appreciation to the leadership of Isuzu for their commitment to the success of this operation."

Buttermore also thanked Ohio's leaders on the federal, state, county and local levels, including Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, Lt. Governor Lee Fisher and the Ohio Department of Development, Montgomery County Board of Commissioners and Moraine Mayor Leonard Johnson, for providing the business case to support GM's investments in Ohio.

"General Motors' continuing investment in its Ohio manufacturing base demonstrates the strength of our partnership and Ohio's competitive business climate," said Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. "I commend GM for investing in our state and the technologies that put Ohio at the forefront of clean vehicle manufacturing."

The 2010 model year 6.6-liter V-8 Duramax diesel will use a selective catalytic reduction NOx after-treatment system with a diesel particulate filter to help achieve the 2010 Tier 2 Bin 5 and LEV 2 emissions standards, and it will be compliant in all 50 states.

GM first introduced the Duramax diesel in the U.S. in the 2001 model year, and since then customer enthusiasm for this heavy-duty diesel has been outstanding. In fact, GM's heavy-duty pickup truck market share has jumped nearly tenfold in the seven years that Duramax engines have been offered.

The award-winning Duramax 6.6-liter V-8 is a four-valve high pressure common rail direct injection diesel currently equipped with a diesel particulate filter to meet the stringent 2007 emissions requirements. Available in GM's Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra heavy-duty pickups, the engine delivers a segment-leading 365 horsepower (272 kW) and 660 lb.-ft. of torque (895 Nm). It is also offered with increased power and torque for the Chevy Kodiak and GMC TopKick medium-duty applications. Versions are available with 300 horsepower and 520 lb.-ft of torque, as well as a new 330-horsepower option with 620 lb.-ft. of torque. The Duramax is also available in GM's full-size vans, Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana.

In the DMAX joint venture with Isuzu Motors Ltd., GM owns 60 percent and Isuzu 40 percent. The 584,000-square foot DMAX plant employs 1,195 hourly and salaried employees with annual production near 200,000 engines. Hourly employees are represented by the IUE-CWA Local 797. In April 2007, DMAX produced its one millionth Duramax diesel engine.

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