Nuts... not only did I screw up the link but it's not even good anymore! Anyway, here's the text:
FOR RELEASE: 2004-07-28
GM Powertrain Opens Performance Build Center
New Vortec 6.0-liter Gen IV, Half-Century of Small-Block V-8s Celebrated
"GM Powertrain inaugurates $10 million Performance Build Center to produce hand-built high-performance engines. First engine produced: LS7 V-8, beginning second-quarter 2005
Vortec 6000 6.0-liter all-aluminum V-8 (LS2), fourth generation of GM's hallowed small-block design, will be available in the 2005 Chevrolet SSR
Fifty years of small-block heritage commemorated with launch of LS2 and exhibit area at Performance Build Center
DETROIT - General Motors Corp. is adding more muscle to its claim of "World's Best Powertrains" with the official opening of its Performance Build Center, a $10 million facility dedicated to building high-performance engines for low-volume, premium vehicles. The first hand-built engine variant to come from the Performance Build Center will be the LS7 OHV V-8 that is the heart of the Z06 performance package earmarked for the 2006 Corvette; specifications and details for the LS7 will be provided at the 2005 North American International Auto Show.
Another variant of GM Powertrain's newly revised small-block engine family, the Vortec 6000 6.0-liter V-8 (LS2), powers the 2005 Chevrolet SSR. It is an all-aluminum version of the new fourth generation of GM's timeless small-block V-8. The Gen IV design comprises the latest series of technical revisions to the engine.
The new Gen IV small-block V-8 also will launch in several 2005 GM SUVs. Those trucks will use Gen IV V-8s with cast aluminum cylinder blocks and feature GM Powertrain's efficiency enhancing Displacement on Demand cylinder deactivation technology.
The 2005 launch of the Gen IV also marks the 50th anniversary of the small-block's launch in the '55 Chevrolet lineup. The Gen IV variant makes the small-block one of the most enduring designs of any mass-producing industrial sector.
Performance Build Center
The GM Powertrain Performance Build Center, a 100,000 square foot facility in the Detroit suburb of Wixom, is the culmination of former GM Powertrain Vice President Ned McClurg's vision to see the company's Powertrain division - the world's highest-volume producer of automotive engines - establish a reputation as a builder of hand-crafted, high-performance "niche" engines for low-volume specialty vehicles.
"Ned saw a strong market niche GM had not gone after in the past," said Timothy M. Schag, site manager for the Performance Build Center. The idea went to the highest levels of the corporation - but ultimately needed little selling. GM executives and planners already had foreseen the need to compete with other automakers crafting high-performance "image powertrains" for premium vehicles, said Schag.
Schag, a GM engineer with decades of powertrain manufacturing and engineering experience, traveled the world with other Powertrain engineers to study competitive niche-engine building facilities and benchmark race teams' operations.
The Performance Build Center will combine the best practices of contemporary niche-engine construction with the volume-manufacturing system that has enabled GM Powertrain to claim leadership in a string of recent J.D. Power and Associates rankings of manufacturing quality. Schag says, in fact, that while the Performance Build Center's volumes may be purposely small - capacity is 15,000 engines annually - all of the quality standards that apply to every GM Powertrain manufacturing facility will be fully in place. The facility will achieve TS 16949 certification by the end of the year and the site will be compatible with GM Global Manufacturing System processes.
Engines built at the Performance Build Center will be constructed by specially trained craftspeople from United Auto Workers Local 653, based in Pontiac, Mich. Each technician on the 80-person force receives extensive high-level instruction - every technician has built complete engines before.
This philosophy of craftsmanship and "ownership" is the crux of the Performance Build Center's philosophy. One technician will build a complete engine from start to finish. The Performance Build Center's highly flexible manufacturing concept and tooling, combined with technicians' ability to assemble any engine, mean that throughput of different engines can be quickly adjusted to address shifting market demand.
The Performance Build Center will be the focal point of GM's goal to make expressive and emotional vehicles, with powertrains that match that excitement. "It's a much more efficient way to get these special, high-performance engines to the street," said Schag.
The LS7 OHV V-8 for 2006 Chevrolet Corvette ZO6 is the first engine confirmed for the Performance Build Center, but others will follow.
"Performance means different things to different people. Sometimes it's pure horsepower. Maybe it's sophistication. Whatever the definition, this facility will deliver world-class engines," Said Schag..."