General Motors Invests $918 Million To Build Sixth-Gen V8s

Just when it seems that “EV The World!” is everyone’s newest mantra, General Motors gives a respite of reality with its latest announcement that it is investing nearly a BILLION dollars in four U.S. manufacturing sites to prepare these facilities to produce the company’s sixth-gen small-block V8 engines. Of course, all the juicy details about the next-gen engine are being held closely to GM’s chest for the time being, but the news is considered good news by the internal combustion crowd. What we do know is where that money will be distributed.

Flint, Michigan, has been integral to the Blue Box’s history from the very beginning. Until 1999, over half of the company’s small-block engines were built at the Flint V8 Engine Plant. Now, thanks to GM’s announcement that the next-gen small-block V8 engine will be produced at Flint Engine Operations, that heritage will continue. The plant is being set up to assemble GM’s sixth generation of small-block V8 gas engines, along with the related block, crank, and head machining.

While the plants have changed and Flint Operations currently builds smaller engines, Flint, Michigan, has a long history of building high-horsepower small-block V8s. This investment by GM means the small-block V8 will be making its way back to Flint for assembly.

GM’s Bay City Plant will receive $218 million in upgrades to prepare this facility with a long history within GM. The Bay City plant originally opened in 1892, producing bicycles, and GM founders William Durant and Louis Chevrolet purchased the plant in 1918. This latest investment of $216 million will prepare the facility to build camshafts, connecting rods, and additional block and head machining to support Flint Engine Operation’s building of the new engine.

GM’s Bay City Plant has a long history within GM. Upgrades from the investment will help ensure it stays relevant to the small-block history.

Another $55 million will go to GM’s Defiance Operations in Ohio, the bulk of which is set aside to prepare the facility to build a variety of block castings for the next iteration of small-block.

General Motors next-gen v8

UAW Local 211 Chairman Rob Egnor (left) and General Motors Defiance Plant Director Steve Hartwig on Friday, January 20, 2023, at General Motors Defiance Operations in Defiance, Ohio. (Photo by Shane Pequignot for General Motors)

The final chunk of funding is headed to GM’s Rochester Operations in New York, and $12 million will help it prepare to build intake manifolds and fuel rails for the future V8. Did you catch that? Fuel rails! (Insert happy face here).

General Motors next-gen v8

Overall, GM is investing almost $1 billion to give the next generation of small-block V8 a great head start. $579 million goes to Flint, $216 million is headed to Bay City, $68 million is off to Rochester, and $55 million will help in Defiance, Ohio.

Just when it seems the EV bandwagon is stuffed to capacity, it’s refreshing to see General Motors looking beyond the PR horizon and shifting its focus down the road into a world that will soon become a reality for all of us. Chevy’s small-block V8 has had such a vibrant life cycle. Even at almost 70 years old, it’s still out there smoking the competition. It would be a shame to cut it down during what could be considered the prime of its life. But, thanks to this latest announcement from GM, it appears there is no plan to let that happen.

About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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