Incredible demand and a projected growth in the diesel market has seen GM open its first all-new engine factory in Germany.

Situated in the town of Kaiserlautern, in the south-west of the country, the new engine facility will build both 120PS and 150PS versions of the 1.9-litre common-rail diesel engine, previously made at the Italian Pratola Serra plant. The factory will also build a 100PS version of the engine, offered in continental Europe only.

The high-performance fuel-efficient engine, which is Euro IV compliant when equipped with a diesel particulate filter, is available in a host of Vauxhall cars including New Zafira, New Astra, Astra Sport Hatch, Vectra and Signum, as well as the Saab 9-3 TiD.

In order to satisfy growing demand for GM’s immensely popular oil-burner, the plant will operate for six days a week, running three eight hour shifts over each 24hr period. 100,000 powerplants are expected to roll out of the factory in 2005, with a target of 180,000 in its first full year of operation in 2006.

An intensive pilot production scheme has already begun. "We have prepared for production from the start, and want to make sure that the plant delivers top quality from day one," said Plant Manager August Trenkle.

Published : 21/05/05 Author : Melanie Carter

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