NEW YORK General Motors Co. is assessing a potential $27.3-million investment at its casting plant in Bedford, Ind., as the automaker looks to overhaul and upgrade equipment used to manufacture aluminum transmission components.
The Bedford plant currently produces aluminum die castings used to manufacture transmission casings and converter housings for GMs new, more fuel-efficient transmissions.
"We are assessing a variety of factors, building a business case for potential future investment at the plant. Beyond that we have no further details to offer," a spokesman for Detroit-based GM told AMM.
Industry insiders believe the expansion is likely part of a broader effort by both GM and Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford Motor Co. to produce nine- and 10-speed transmissions that are lighter and achieve better overall fuel economy.
The two companies said last year that they were collaborating on the new generation of engines, with initial design work under way at the time (amm.com, April 17, 2013).
Should the expansion project come to fruition, GM will add 42 hires to the Bedford plants existing 624 hourly and salaried employees, according to documents filed with the Bedford City Council.
On April 15, the city council unanimously approved a tax abatementa reduction of or exemption from personal property taxes granted by a government for a defined periodthat would save the automaker approximately $2.87 million over the next 10 years.