Major milestone for GM's Toledo workforce - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Major milestone for GM's Toledo workforce

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A huge day at GMs Toledo plant. The plant hit a major milestone on its rear wheel drive transmission lines. Workers have now built just over 2.5 million and while they continue to crank out hundreds of thousands of six speed rear wheel drive transmissions each year, they are now gearing up to build an all new 8 speed transmission. A lot of workers are hoping the good news doesn't end there. Claude Willis is the Human Resources Director at Toledo Transmission,"It's very exciting to think about the number of vehicles out on the road today with our transmissions in them."

The six speed, rear wheel drive transmission came on line in 2008 and it's driven in big numbers since then. Jim Watt is the Senior Manufacturing Manager for rear wheel drive assembly. He's worked at the plant for more than four decades, "We supply all of North America with that product. Everything from the Camaro and Corvette to the big Suburbans, Yukon, Escalades all the way to full size utility trucks. We work under a true team concept at this plant. Each team takes ownership in what they do every day. It's our job as managers to help them continue to improve and to remove roadblocks out of their way so they can get even better."

In addition to the rear wheel drive lines they also build six speed front wheel drive transmissions. Watt says they're in the process of launching an 8 speed rear wheel drive line,"The flexibility of the plant has been key to the survival of the plant. Our ability to make both front and rear wheel drive transmissions for multiple platforms for cars and trucks as well as the quality of the plant all goes back to the craftsmanship of our workers." The 8 speed line will go into full production next year and Willis says everyone is hoping the success of current products will help bring even more work to Toledo, "We've been growing our plant over the last few months and we now have about 1,800 employees. We certainly hope to continue to grow based on the product we are allocated."  Between the front and rear wheel drive six speed lines they build about 25,000 transmissions in Toledo every week.

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