General Motors plans to invest nearly $1 billion to retool several factories to build what it calls a “new generation” of fuel efficient, small-block truck and car engines. The $890 million by GM is being sprinkled among five North American plants: Tonawanda, NY, will receive $400 million; St. Catharine, ON, $235 million; Defiance, OH, $115 million; Bedford, IN, $111 million; and Bay City, MI, $32 million.

Mark Reuss, president of GM North America, said these investments include facility renovation and installation of new, highly flexible engine machining and assembly equipment and special tooling designed for manufacturing efficiency and engine quality.

"These latest investments show our commitment to improving fuel economy for buyers of every GM car, truck and crossover and giving them the best possible driving and ownership experience,” he noted.

GM’s so-called “next generation” small block engine family obtains improved fuel efficiency through direct injection and an all-new advanced combustion system design, while relying exclusively on aluminum engine blocks, which are lighter and contribute to the improved fuel efficiency.

GM said that in addition to being E85 ethanol-capable, the engines are being designed with the capability to meet increasingly stringent criteria emissions standards expected throughout this decade. The company added that specifics about engine capabilities as well as product applications will be shared at a later date.