Just in time for the holidays, GM has announced that it is investing $162 million more in three of small-car its manufacturing plants, including one that makes the generator for its Chevy Volt electric/gasoline vehicle, which Motor Trend has named 2011 Car of the Year. The investment means that GM will rehire laid-off workers as well as retain workers and create new hires, and it appears that more Volt-related green jobs are in the works for next year.
More Volt Engines in the U.S.
Of the three factories, GM’s engine operations in Flint will get the largest slice of the pie. This is the facility that builds the generator for the Volt, and it will also build engines for other compact models. According to GM, Volt engines are being built in Austria and shipped to the U.S., but the company expects to ramp up its domestic production to 800 per day (yes, per day) by the end of 2011, and possibly to 1200 by the next year.
More Green Jobs in the U.S.
Between the Volt and its focus on compact models, GM is heading in a greener direction, and Motor Trend’s seal of approval is the icing on the cake. GM has also gone out of its way to promote the Volt as an all-American car for all Americans, not just the “real” ones. Of course, not everyone is happy. There is still at least one self-proclaimed automotive expert out there in the talk show world who seems to have made a new career out of hating the Volt, despite its promise of job creation and a cleaner environment. In fact, there seems to be a whole trend brewing out there to punish companies that create new green jobs and bring new green products to the market, such as General Electric and Johnson & Johnson. Oh well, what would Christmas be without Scrooge?
Image: Christmas tree by sociotard on flickr.com.
Tina Casey specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. You can also follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.