Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Great News for Flint MI USA

The city of Flint is preparing to get charged. That's because plans are under way for Flint to be the production home of the engine for the Chevy Volt. [1]

The Chevy Volt is a one-of-a-kind plug-in electric-gas hybrid car GM unveiled at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show[2]The Volt is a battery-powered vehicle that is designed to travel about 40 miles. After that, the car would switch to an internal combustion engine[3]

The four-cylinder engine built at the plant would also go into the new Chevy Cruze, a new, smaller vehicle that will be produced by General Motors in the future. [3]Posted originally to:

VOLT A COMBINED GAS AND ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SYSTEMThe Volt, hailed for its potential to reduce the world's reliance on fossil fuels, would run entirely on a battery charge for about 40 miles and use a gasoline engine -- apparently to be built in Flint -- to keep the vehicle powered for longer trips.[4]

Alternative energy is a term used for an energy source that is an alternative to using fossil fuels./wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_neededGenerally, it indicates energies that are non-traditional and have low environmental impact. The term alternative is used to contrast with /wiki/Fossil_fuelsFOSSIL FUELS according to some sources. By most definitions alternative energy doesn't harm the environment, a distinction which separates it from/wiki/Renewable_energyRENEWABLE ENERGY Which may or may not have significant environmental impact.Due to a steadily rising gas price in 2008 with the US national average price per gallon of regular unleaded gas above $4.00 there has been a steady movement towards developing higher fuel efficiency and more alternative energy vehicles for consumers. In response, many smaller companies have rapidly increased research and development into radically different ways of powering consumer vehicles. While Hybrid Vehicles (such as Toyota's Prius) and Electric Vehicles (such as the Tesla Roadster) are commercially available, other technologies such as fuel cells, flywheels, ultra capacitors and a Water-Powered car are starting to emerge as viable options.[6]

Great news for Flint, but remember historically when something big happens from GM there is a downside, namely additional plant closings. I would guess this is the end of Metal Fab, the rest of the Buick site ,Spo is rumored to be sold. It speaks volumes about how they feel about this town when the only reason new work is coming here is arm twisting in contract negotiations[ comment By GRANTBANK at 5]


Paperwork has been filed by General Motors Corp. to build a new facility in the Flint area. [1]According to the plan, the 530,000-square-foot building will be in an area between Flint Truck Assembly and Engine South.[1]Some are celebrating the addition of a more fuel-efficient component to the area's manufacturing base.[5]"It strengthens Flint's competitive position long term," said Flint City Councilman Ehren Gonzales, who sits on the city's brownfield redevelopment board and heard GM officials' presentation on the plant Friday.[5]

FLINT IS IN NOT POSITION TO SAY ANYTHING BUT YES TO THE GM INITIATIVE, DISREGARD OR HOUND OUT OF OFFICE ANY NAY SAYERSIn the paperwork, it is revealed GM is planning to make a $326 million investment into the Flint community.[1]"This is great," said Councilman Scott Kincaid, who works for the UAW. "There's no question there will be a big market for the engine."[5]The area along Van Slyke Road in Flint is where General Motors is looking to put the brand-new production line.[1]Flint Mayor Don Williamson previously said the plant will be built on Van Slyke Road, adjacent to Flint Engine South and Flint Truck Assembly.[2]"I think this shows that things are looking very well for us to compete with the rest of the U.S.," Williamson said. [5]Rough estimates by TV5 put the number of GM employees currently in the Flint area at 10,000.That number is compared to the 70,000-80,000 during the automotive boom from the 1950s through the early 1970s. [2]Genesee Regional chamber of Commerce CEO Tim Herman said while the plant may only retain, not create, jobs, it could lead other businesses to the Flint area.[2]

VOLT OUR FUTURE OR IS IT ANOTHER PIPE DREAM.Paperwork filed with the city says a new facility will be home for engines in new GM passenger cars, including the battery-powered Volt.[1]The Volt switches to engine power if driven for more than 40 miles. It was in June when GM CEO Rick Wagoner announced the production of a 1.4-liter engine in the Flint area.[1]The new facility will keep about 300 jobs in the Flint area now that the 3800 line at Flint North is ending.[1]

FLINT NEEDS TO COMPETE AGGRESSIVELY TO STAY IN THIS LINE UPGM is in the middle of transforming its lineup from mostly large trucks and SUVs to smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles.[1]Already the automaker announced it was cutting back truck production and focusing on smaller cars.[1]With the addition of the small engine plant in Mid-Michigan, it looks as if Flint maybe helping the automaker lead the way.[1]TV5 spoke with city councilmember Jim Ananich, and he told us the council looked at the plans submitted to the city Monday night by GM.[2]The engine built here "will be used in the proposed battery operated Chevy Volt and other GM passenger vehicles," according to an application asking Flint to designate the proposed plant location a brownfield redevelopment site, cutting GM's state tax bill. [5]

FLINT CITIZENS SHOULD CONSIDER ATTENDING THIS MEETING!Next up is a public meeting by Flint City Council Aug. 25 to decide on grants and tax breaks for the automaker.[1]The Flint City Council will host a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 25 to decide whether to grant General Motors a brownfield designation for the proposed site for a small engine plant -- which could produce engines for the Chevrolet Volt as well as for other passenger cars. GM would receive a break on its Michigan Business Tax if the designation is approved.[4]The location GM wants to build on is on a brownsfield designated property, which means it is contaminated land. [2]This development has some irony to it, as it was General Motors that originally contaminated the site. [2]The hearing is scheduled for Aug. 25, and the council will vote on the plans shortly afterward. If all goes according to plan, the plant could be open by 2010.[2]A spokesperson for GM would not comment on specifics, but said the automaker is filing the necessary paperwork and it all depends on agreements by GM, federal, state and local authorities.[1]City leaders said the facility will not only bring construction jobs to town, but could also contribute about $6 million in property taxes per year.[2]Flint resident Nayyirah Shariff said while it's good news for the city, she can't forget how GM pushed the sport utility vehicle gasoline hogs during the 1990s.[5]"It's almost like is this a case of too little, too late, with gas now at $4 per gallon," Shariff said. "It's part of the new green economy. There's still a lot of work to do with that."[5]

(GM Spokesperson)...Wagoner has said preliminary plans are to produce the Volt itself at GM's Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center, about 60 miles away.[5]If all is approved production is expected to start in 2010 [1]Here's hoping that GM, the City and Council do something to promote alternative/'sustainable' remediation strategies for the brownfield and factory themselves.[Comment by indscpurbnsm at 5]

Posted byTerry Bankert07/30/08
[1]ABC WJRT TV 12 Flint MI

[2]WNEM TV 5


[4]The Grand Rapids Press

[5]The Flint Journal[trb]Comments by Terry Bankert including unattributed CAP headlines[6]Wikipedia

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1 comment:

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