General Motors President Mark Reuss made a special trip to the company’s Tonawanda, N.Y., engine plant on Tuesday, to highlight his appreciation for the workers who will be producing the new LT2 powerplant in the upcoming mid-engine Corvette.
“This plant has a deep history of small block [engines], big block [engines], you name it, on our most profitable, highest-quality vehicles,” Reuss said, “and have the heart of the powertrain from right here in Tonawanda.”
The 40,000 or so 6.2-liter V8 motors that will produce 495 horsepower and propel the new 2020 C8 Z51s to 0-60 times under 3 seconds represent a small percentage of the 650,000 engines produced annually at the Tonawanda facility.
But they’re still crucial for the plant and its 1,500 employees, says plant director Ram Ramahujam.
“Every new product we get is really important,” he said.
GM announced three years ago that it is investing $300 million in the facility for future engine production. Building the new LT2 engine just carries on a tradition for Tonawanda, which already manufactures the LT1 powerplant for the C7 Corvette.
The secret is out: the new Chevrolet Corvette engine is being made at the Tonawanda Powertrain Plant. Watch this video for more on this big announcement. pic.twitter.com/L9PtD4ng62— Mark Poloncarz (@markpoloncarz) July 23, 2019
Tonawanda union workers are gearing for a new contract with GM as their current deal expires in September.
“This being a contract year, it’s very important to show the strength of our membership,” said Jose Gonzalez, acting chairman of United Auto Workers Local 774. “We came down here not only to support the fact that we make the best engines, but to showcase what we do here with our long-standing tradition.”