RUESSELSHEIM --- General Motors opened a new 210-million-euro Global Propulsion Center at the headquarters of its Opel unit here, representing a further investment in GM's second-largest r&d site.
More than 800 engineers and technicians will develop new engine and propulsion systems on seven different floors at the facility in Ruesselsheim, Germany, which houses GM's center for small and midsize gasoline engine development, the automaker said in a statement.
"For the entire Propulsion Systems network at GM, this is an important day," GM’s global powertrain development chief Dan Nicholson told reporters at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday. "This new center is very important strategic investment – here we will develop the engines of the future with the help of 45 test benches that can simulate extreme conditions such as very cold temperatures or high altitudes," he said.
The test benches have advanced measurement technology for compliance with upcoming emission standards. Opel has come under criticism because its diesel vehicles' exhaust gas after-treatment systems only operate part of the time, which Opel has said is necessary to protect the engine.
"At 210 million euros, this is the largest building investment in Ruesselsheim since the opening of our production plant in 2002," said Opel CEO and GM Europe President Karl-Thomas Neumann at the ceremony.
GM changed the name of its GM Powertrain to GM Global Propulsion Systems in February to reflect changing industry trends.