BROOKVILLE – With heavy equipment working on the site of a future 250,000 square foot facility working just over a mile away, officials from General Motors and Isuzu held a special ceremony at Brookville Fire Station 76 to announce that the Duramax diesel engine component plant will open in late 2020.
Duramax engines, a 60-40 venture of General Motors and Isuzu, are built just south of Dayton in Moraine, and officials had been looking for land to build the components plant for some time.
As Brookville Mayor Chuck Letner said, the Brookville site may not have been the first choice for this facility, but it was the best choice.
Gerald Johnson, GM’s executive vice-president of Global Manufacturing, said, “Strong demand for GM’s all0ne family of Chevrolet and GMC heavy and medium duty pickups is driving us to find ways to build more Duramax diesel engines.
“The Brookville investment will enable us to machine more engine blocks and heads and ultimately enable our DMAX engine plant in Moraine to build more 6.6-liter diesel engines for our Flint (Michigan) truck assembly plant,” Johnson added.
The Brookville facility is projected to cost $175 million and employ just over 100 workers when it goes on line next year.
According to information supplied by GM officials’ heavy-duty trucks make up 25 percent of full-size pickup sales in the U.S.
The new Duramax facility in Brookville is going in off West Campus Boulevard in the North Brook Industrial Park.
Johnson, an Ohio native, noted that GM has a 100-year history in Ohio.
“This investment in new jobs gives us security for now and into the future,” he said.
Jay Niijima, with Isuzu, said he “Was glad to be part of this event.
“This will ensure us to meet the great customer demand for this engine,” Niijima added.
Letner offered a quote from the legendary baseball manager Tommy Lasorda, to paraphrase the work done to secure the facility by Brookville city officials.
He made sure that Brookville City Manager Sonja Keaton, Law Director Rod Stephan and Zoning Director Jim Snedeker were all recognized for their efforts in securing the facility coming to Brookville.
“The quote by Tommy Lasorda says that there are those who make it happen, those who watch what happens and those who wonder what happened,” he said. “They (Brookville folks) made it happen. Brookville needed this shot in the arm.
“The manufacturing potential of this facility is second-to-none,” he added. “With GM, Isuzu, IUE-CWA (the labor union representing plant workers), we are all red, white and Brookville blue strong.”
Later in the program Letner said this new facility cements Brookville’s status as a GM town.
“This means a lot to have these manufacturing jobs,” said Letner. “In the past we have had people who live in the city work of GM, now we truly are a GM town.”
Carolyn Rice, Montgomery County Commissioner, noted that a $400,000 county ED/GE grant was issued for this facility. Rice noted that since the ED/GE program’s inception just over $98 million in grants has realized over three billion dollars in private investment in the county.
“This (Duramax facility) is just another example of that,” said Rice. “We will continue to support future business expansion and wish all the best with this new project.”
Adam Blevins, President of the Brookville Area Chamber of Commerce said he was pleased with the news of the Duramax facility coming on-line soon.
“This is great not just for GM, but for all the businesses of Brookville that will support this,” said Blevins. “It will be amazing what the long-term advantages this investment can make.”
Part of that support of local business was evident at the announcement event last Thursday, as several medium and heavy-duty pick-up trucks with Duramax engines were on display from Brookville auto dealer Reichard Chevrolet.
According to GM officials the Brookville plant will supply precision-machined components to the DMAX engine plant in Moraine. The new investment is part of a GM strategy to grow GM’s heavy-duty pickup line which has created over 1,000 new jobs this year alone.