The writing is on the wall: Diesel is in, but it faces ever-tightening cleanliness standards and consumer scrutiny. To that end, GM diesel partner DMAX, Ltd. is investing $60 million in its Ohio plant.
According to the release from GM, DMAX is the joint venture between GM and Isuzu that builds the Duramax V8 diesel engine found in 3/4- and 1-ton Chevrolet and GMC trucks — GM owns 60% of the venture, and Isuzu owns 40%, the release said. The investment reportedly will go toward retaining 500 jobs and help make design changes to the engine that will help it meet future emissions requirements.
GM North America Manufacturing Manager Christine Sitek said, “Today’s announcement demonstrates GM’s commitment to continuously invest in technologies that reduce the impact of our vehicles on the environment, while maintaining performance attributes required by customers in the areas of towing and hauling loads.”
“This investment represents a vote of confidence in our employees and IUE-CWA Local 755, who have consistently demonstrated their commitment and dedication to building the best diesel engine possible,” Sitek continued.
After opening the facility in 1998, DMAX Ltd. started pumping investments into it from 2000 onward, totaling $760 million in the last 14 years.
DMAX President and Chief Operating Officer Maho Mitsuya said, “The successful partnership between GM, Isuzu and IUE-CWA Local 755 continues to bring new investment dollars to our plant. The Duramax diesel’s performance is renowned in the industry, and these updates to improve our emissions will make it that much better.”
The 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel engine currently built at DMAX is rated at an SAE-certified 397 horsepower and 765 ft-lbs of torque at only 1,600 RPM. It uses a high-pressure 30,000-psi Piezo-actuated fuel injection system that helps the engine be both more fuel-efficient and cleaner while producing more power, according to GM.