GM bets big on Brookville, announces $175M plant

Nearly 11 years after General Motors closed a Moraine assembly plant, the Dayton area will soon be home to a new GM plant.

Construction on the 251,000-square-foot, $175 million complex has already started in the area of West Campus Boulevard and Collective Way in Brookville.

The GM-DMAX plant will have more than 100 employees making components for Duramax diesel truck engines when construction is complete by the end of 2020.

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The new plant will operate concurrently with the original DMAX plant in Moraine, sending the established plant machined engine components for assembly there.

Then from Moraine, finished diesel engines will go to a GM Flint, Mich., plant, where the engines will be built into the new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra HDs (heavy duty) trucks.

From Flint, the newly assembly trucks — and Brookville- and Moraine-built engines — will go to dealers across the nation.

DMAX in Moraine will continue to have more than 800 workers.

The Moraine DMAX plant has been running “flat out” for years to meet growing demand for its chief product — the Duramax engine, Gerald Johnson, GM’s executive vice president of global manufacturing, said at a press conference Thursday at a Brookville fire station.

“Strong demand for GM’s all-new family of Chevrolet and GMC heavy and medium-duty pickups is driving us to find ways to build more Duramax diesel engines,” Johnson said. “The Brookville investment will enable us to machine more engine blocks and heads and ultimately enable our DMAX engine plant in Moraine to build more 6.6-liter diesel engines for our Flint truck assembly plant.”

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Since 1998, DMAX has been a 60-40 joint venture of GM and Isuzu, with GM being the majority owner. The Moraine plant has built more than 2 million engines since 1999.

“This will ensure that we meet great customer demand,” said Jay Niijima, executive officer and division sales executive with Isuzu Motors.

DMAX and GM continue to benefit from America’s love affair with the pickup truck.

“It’s one of the best trucks out there,” Johnson said, referring to the medium- and heavy-duty line of trucks. “We’ve put a lot of investments into these trucks. We know it’s being very well received.”

The general contractor on the construction project is Barton Malow Co., based in Oak Park, Mich. The company also has a presence in Columbus.

Montgomery County Commissioner Carolyn Rice said the new plant enjoys strong support for a new $400,000 county development grant, called an ED/GE (Economic Development/Government Equity) grant.

A committee of local officials will meet today to hear pitches from other applicants for ED/GE dollars.

The Dayton Daily News first reported in September that GM leaders were exploring the possibility of a new plant to buttress the existing DMAX truck engine plant in Moraine.

Recently filed property records identified General Motors LLC as the buyer of nearly 75 acres in Brookville and Clay Twp. for nearly $3 million. JRC LLC was the seller.

The newly purchased land is northeast of the intersection of West Campus Boulevard and Collective Way, near the now-closed Payless Shoe/Collective Brands distribution center.

In Ohio, GM has more than 4,800 employees total, 212 dealerships and 880 suppliers. The automaker has invested more than $2 billion in the Buckeye State in the last decade.

Still, GM and Ohio have had a challenging year. Last November, GM first announced it would idle its Lordstown assembly plant, where it had built the Chevrolet Cruze compact car.

Earlier this month, the automaker said it sold the 6.2 million-square-foot Lordstown plant to an investment group called Lordstown Motors, which is backed by electric truck maker Workhorse Group, which is itself based in Loveland.

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