TOWN OF TONAWANDA — At a flashy presentation Thursday that unveiled the 2014 line of GM pickup trucks in Detroit, company representatives announced that the hometown Tonawanda plant will be responsible for building the engines for the new vehicles. 

“We believe these are the most technologically advanced engines ever offered in light-duty pickups,” Jordan Lee, small block chief engineer and program manager said. 

The new EcoTec3 engines will be installed in the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500. 

“Owning a truck doesn’t mean settling for second-best technology,” Lee said. “Our new EcoTec3 engines harness some of the most advanced powertrain technologies in the world to meet the specialized demands of truck owners.”

The trucks will also have advanced fuel management technology to increase mileage rates and decrease emissions. 

The building of the engines is set to start in the first quarter of 2013. 

Thursday’s news dates back to an announcement in 2010, when the company publicized $400 million investment in the local plant. The renovations included ripping out old equipment and adding new technology in addition to laying down new concrete on the factory floor. 

The renovations were necessary for the building of Generation 5 engine, used in the 2014 corvette,  and V6 engines, which will be used in the new trucks. 

“We can now tell people that these are the products that our engines are going into,” Mary Ann Brown, plant communications manager, said. 

As part of the announcement two years ago, the company said the plant will likely hire around 710 people to construct the engines, 500 of which will be added next year. Employees from other area plants, like Rochester and Lockport, will be hired first, as well as those who were employed by plants that have closed.

Then, the GM will hire individuals from outside the company. 

In total, GM has invested $890 million in plants across North America and created or retained 1,600 positions since the 2010 announcement. 

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150

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