Economy, Auto

$1b for GM Tech Center Upgrade

$1b for GM Tech Center Upgrade
$1b for GM Tech Center Upgrade

General Motors will invest $1 billion to expand and renovate operations at its technical center in the US city of Detroit, Autonews America reports.

The plans for the 310-acre campus in Warren, Mich., include new design studios and a multi-story IT building. The project also includes substantial renovations to existing R&R facilities, construction to accommodate additional testing areas and extensive office upgrades.

GM product chief Mark Reuss said work is "already underway" on the long anticipated project, which won municipal a slew of tax rebates in April.  "The need to attract high quality employees is the real need," Reuss said at today's press conference. "We're not here to be competitive, we're here to win. So when we do this in Warren, we’re not trying to compete, we’re trying to win."

Work is set to wrap up by 2018. The project is expected to generate about 2,600 new jobs once it is completed.

“In a stressed company, you have to take a strategic look at the way we design, engineer and develop cars with quality and excellence, and you look at how that has to change,” Reuss told journalists. “Over the last year and a half it was really crystallized here.”

The Tech Center, which opened in 1956, is a National Historic Landmark. Its most recent major renovation was made in the design dome in December 2014.

The campus is the nerve center for GM's global vehicle development and is home to 19,000 engineers, designers, information technology workers and other employees. Many of GM's vehicles for North America and overseas are developed there.

GM has said that the center is in need of major upgrades to modernize its collection of dozens of '50s-era buildings, roads, tunnels and other infrastructure. More contemporary facilities could help the company better compete for talent with Silicon Valley and other more modern tech hubs.