GM: Strike won’t affect Brookville plant plans

The United Auto Workers strike against General Motors won’t disrupt GM’s plans for a new Brookville plant, a spokesman for GM said Monday.

GM hopes to build a new $175 million plant on a farm in Brookville. A GM spokesman said Monday that the proposed plant site does not have a street address, but he said the UAW strike will not affect the automaker’s plans for the new facility, which would supply machined engine heads and blocks to the DMAX truck engine plant in Moraine.

Demand for heavy-duty diesel engines is strong, especially with plans for new trucks to be assembled in a GM Flint, Mich. plant, said Dan Flores, a spokesman for GM. The UAW strike, which began at midnight Saturday evening, will not disrupt that, he said.

“This project is being driven by the fact that market demand for the Duramax diesel engine is very strong,” Flores said. “And with our plans to increase pickup truck production at our Flint truck plant in Flint, Mich., it’s looks very likely that we need more diesel engines. This is a market-driven project.”

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Asked about the project’s prospects if a strike is prolonged, Flores said he could not speculate.

“If the project gets approved, we want to hit the ground running,” he added.

Talks with the UAW resumed at 10 a.m. today.

The DMAX plant is represented by the IUE-CWA. A message was left today with a representative of that union.

“While we are fighting for better wages, affordable quality health care, and job security, GM refuses to put hard-working Americans ahead of their record profits of $35 billion in North America over the last three years,” UAW Vice President Tony Dittes said in a statement. “We are united in our efforts to get an agreement our members and their families deserve.”

GM has not yet purchased the Brookville property, Flores said.

He emphasized that the plant would a new building in what he called a “greenfield project.”

The new plant would have a little over 100 employees, with about 18 transfers from the DMAX plant, which would continue to operate in Moraine. That plant has about 800 workers.

The potential new GM facility in Brookville would not build complete new diesel engines, Flores said. Instead, it would machine engine blocks and heads to supply the DMAX plant in Moraine, which builds finished engines.

“If we do go forward with that project, it would be for the machining of blocks and heads, and those parts would be sent over to DMAX for more engines. That’s ultimately how we get more engine production,” Flores said.

There is machining happening now at DMAX, but that plant is at maximum capacity, he also said.

Angelia Erbaugh, president of the Dayton Region Manufacturers Association, welcomed GM’s announcement Monday.

“It’s wonderful news, for Dayton, for the region, for the economy,” Erbaugh said. “And it will be interesting to look into the future to see how that might affect the rest of the manufacturing industry (in Dayton). Because so much of our manufacturing is contract manufacturing. That very well could have a very positive impact on (smaller business) manufacturing.”

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