GM and Isuzu invest $50 million in diesel joint venture image

General Motors and its Japanese partner Isuzu have announced the planned investment of $50 million in a plant in Ohio, a move that should “protect” 500 jobs and supply heavy-duty diesel engines.

In a market that has been very skeptical in embracing the diesel technology – as opposed to the Europe – the planned investment reflects a steadily growing interest in the benefits it ads to fuel economy.

“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,” said GM North America Manufacturing Manager Christine Sitek.

The plant, located in Moraine, Ohio and named DMAX Ltd. has already outed from its production lines more than 1.6 million diesel engines since opening back in 2000. The Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana full-size vans and the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups are supplied with the Duramax 6.6-liter Turbo Diesel engine assembled there.

“The Duramax diesel’s performance is renowned in the industry, and these updates to improve our emissions will make it that much better,” said Maho Mitsuya, DMAX president and chief operating officer.

As fuel economy has started to become a real competitive factor in the truck market, diesels have a huge advantage here, while thanks to advances in its technology also deliver extended durability, are more and more quiet and smooth while providing a high amount of torque needed for towing and hauling capabilities.