GM invests more than $670 million in two new products at Toledo plant
GM's Toledo Transmission Plant employs nearly 1,700 people. Thousands of transmissions are made there every day. Workers have been building 6-speed and 8-speed transmissions for years, but a massive investment has added more products to the portfolio.
Workers are now building two new products.
Jeff King is the UAW Local 14 Shop Chairman, "We've built the world's best transmissions here for many years and we're going to continue doing that. The new products are job security for our Local 14 members. They are good news for the city too, because they will bring in plenty of tax dollars."
Within the last six months production has started on 9-speed and 10-speed transmissions. Eric Gonzales is the Plant Executive Director, "Toledo Transmission has a history of operating at benchmark levels, and these products are no exception to that. "
GM has pumped about a billion dollars into this plant since 2011. More than $670 million of that was used to launch the 9-speed and 10-speed lines. That investment adds up to long term job security for the workers.
Chris Brandly is the 9-speed Launch Manager, "That investment is a strong message and commitment to the plant and to the community. "
The 10-speed is currently used in the Silverado heavy duty truck. Sharon Kreinbrink is the 10-speed Launch Manager," The 10-speed provides better fuel economy, torque and towing capacity. The Silverado HD has a 40,000 pound towing capacity."
The 9-speed is being used in the Buick Enclave and Chevy Traverse.
Brandly says the 9-speed also delivers better fuel economy and smoother shifting, "With the engineering that was done on this transmission it's a very smooth shifting vehicle. That is fantastic for vehicles of this size."
Getting to full volume is a gradual process. Workers are making both 9 and 10-speed transmissions for sale right now. Gonzales says both lines will be ramped up to full production by the end of this year, "As Executive Director it's exciting to be at this plant, because it is certainly one of the crown jewels of GM."
Kreinbrink and the others involved with the new products say a major part of the continued success in Toledo is the people, "This workforce is more than willing to do whatever necessary to be successful. All of this has happened in a very short time, and the workforce has done a phenomenal job. "
We asked Gonzales about future expansion in Toledo, "Is there any room for growth at this plant when it comes to employment or product? I would just say stay tuned." In the meantime, the transmissions being made here now will likely help ensure jobs at the plant for generations to come.