GM Powertrain’s foundry in Defiance, OH, will receive a share of the new $163.2-million capital investment program that the automaker is planning to support production of its Ecotec engine, a four-cylinder unit with the block and head cast in aluminum. Beginning early next year, two 1.4-liter variants of the four-cylinder Ecotec will be produced at the Flint (MI) Engine Operations, where most of the new investment is planned.

The Flint plant will receive $138.3 million to help increase capacity to 1,200 engines per day by late 2012. The Bay City engine components plant will receive $12.7 million to increase output of connecting rods and camshafts, and Defiance will receive $12.2 million to raise its output of engine blocks and crankshaft castings.

“This investment is essential in ensuring we can meet the expected high demand for the Chevrolet Volt, Chevrolet Cruze and a small car that will be produced at our Orion Township facility,” stated Flint Engine Operations plant manager Kathleen Dilworth. “These three facilities will continue to play a key role in GM’s resurgence and efforts to bring to market vehicles with segment-leading fuel economy.”

The new program will be the third that GM has announced this year for the Defiance foundry. In February it unveiled a $60-million project for a new precision sand casting line for producing the new Ecotec engine blocks, and in April it added a $115-million program to produce a new series of engine components for fuel-efficient small block trucks and cars.