GM plant could receive $1 billion expansion

FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2009 file photo, the General Motors logo is on display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. General Motors is offering free loaner cars to owners of compacts that are being recalled for a deadly ignition switch defect, the company said Wednesday, March 12, 2014. The company also will offer a $500 cash allowance to owners who want to buy or lease a new GM vehicle. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — If everything goes according to plan, General Motors Fort Wayne Assembly could receive a $1 billion expansion.

However, several steps need to happen first.

According to Stephanie Jentgen, Communications Manager for GM in Fort Wayne, company leaders are busy building a business case, reaching out to local and state officials, in hopes of ultimately getting it approved by GM corporate executives. Before that can happen, county council has to approve a tax abatement.

The company has been in Fort Wayne for 28 years, employing more than 4,000 people. Although it’s had several investments through the years, Jentgen stated that several areas still need to be redesigned and rebuilt for the plant to become more effective and efficient.

The hope is to add 1.5 million square feet.

“This would help make us viable for long-term future in Fort Wayne Assembly. It would allow us to have efficiencies, the most current technology in our operations and it would allow us to compete with future programs,” said Jentgen.

The local plant is competing for the same resources throughout the country.

“We’re trying extra hard to make sure that this one goes through and we’re counting on everybody’s support to help make it possible.”

County council is set to meet Thursday. GM officials are hopeful that they’ll have an answer as to whether the tax abatement is approved or delayed.

If approved, corporate officials at GM could ultimately approve or disprove the project as early as next year or as late as next fall.

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