It's a sunny outlook for three General Motors plants in mid-Michigan as the company announces a $300-million investment. After rounds of layoffs and plant closures, GM is making a huge investment and keeping jobs in Michigan.
The news is creating a positive buzz in Flint.
While this investment doesn't create any new jobs, business owners say the investment reassures them about GMâ??s commitment to mid-Michigan.
When it comes to General Motors, the Khirfan brothers have seen and heard it all.
â??Weâ??ve seen the ups and downs,â?? says Leo Khirfan.
â??We had heard some rumors about it a few weeks back,â?? says Brad Khirfan.
Brad and Leo own two stores across the street from the Flint Engine Operations Plant.
â??Iâ??m used to what GM tends to do with their rollercoaster ride,â?? says Leo Khirfan.
After months of downward spirals including the closing of two plants in Genesee County, Leo and
Brad are glad to hear GM is headed back uphill.
â??To us it signifies that there will be work there in the near future,â?? says Brad Khirfan.
The investment across the street includes $215-million to build a new small eco-tec engine in Flint.
Keeping that work in Flint, means a steady stream of cash and coin for the Khirfans. Most of their customers are GM workers and retirees.
â??I think it's good. It might help the economy here a little bit,â?? says Ollie Brent, a GM retiree.
â??I think it's going to improve the city of Flint as well. You know, when we have jobs, our community grows and it's good for the city as a whole as well,â?? says Bonita Riley, a GM retiree.
â??Things are looking up, I think we've got a good six months ahead of us,â?? says Leo Khirfan.
This investment at the Flint plant is part of a new line of engines. The plant will also upgrade tooling for its current V6 engine. GM is also investing into plants in Saginaw and Bay City.
The Bay City Powertrain Plant will see a $31-million investment. At the Saginaw Metal Castings Operations Plant, a $41-million investment will help produce castings for a new V6 engine.
GM says the new ecotec engine is part of line that could top two million engines a year, by the end of this decade.