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Leaders of former Delphi, now GM Wyoming plant say facility's valve

Apr 19, 2023

WYOMING -- If there's any doubt about the value of valve-train engine parts built at the Burlingame Avenue SW plant, consider this: plant ownership has ricocheted from General Motors Corp. to Delphi Corp. back to

General Motors Co.

, both parent companies have gone bankrupt and the site has stayed alive.

It is the last West Michigan plant still run by the Detroit-based automaker.

For 508 workers who have hung on through the upheaval, a new name will replace the big Delphi sign out front.

Soon, they will be part of a wordy new subsidiary: GM Subsystem and Component Operations, Wyoming (Michigan).

That's GMSCO, for short (or SCO, for shorter).

In a news conference Tuesday, plant manager Ed DiEnno and Bill Shaw, general manager of the new subsidiary, outlined plans for the old-new-old venture at 2100 Burlingame Ave. SW.

Whatever name it goes by, the Wyoming plant has been too crucial to close or sell, so far.

Either option puts critical engine technologies at risk for GM, because virtually every engine from pickup truck to micro-car uses parts are made here for the automaker.

Future demand for the engine technology looks even better.

"Today, our 12-millimeter hydraulic lash adjuster product line we see on the drawing board in new engines, from numerous OEMs," DiEnno said. "We see it being designed into future production engines."

The same goes for the plant's variable valve timing devices and continuous variable cam phasers.

For less technical types, here's how those internal parts help the engine:

• Hydraulic lash adjusters control the valve opening and closing, compensating for wear over time to ensure solid performance, fuel economy and lower emissions over the life of the engine;

• Variable valve timing devices and cylinder deactivation reduce fuel consumption and emissions while improving performance and the powertrain's operation.

"When we look at the product lineups and the number of engines this plant supports, it says we need these products for all of our products," Shaw said. "They are a very critical supplier. And a very high-quality supplier."

Even a Toyota Motor Corp. division thinks so.

Last spring, the then-Delphi hydraulic lash adjuster made at the Wyoming plant won a top quality award from Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America Inc.

For years, the local plant has supplied both GM and other automakers, DiEnno said.

But the latest spin back to GM led some non-GM customers to worry.

Five former Delphi plants form GM Components Holdings LLC: besides Wyoming, they include Rochester, N.Y., where most of the fuel-injector contracts moved when Coopersville closed; Kokomo, Ind., Lockport, N.Y., and Saginaw.

"I think it's important to realize that most of our customers go back a number of years, to when we were previously GM," DiEnno said.

"This plant 10 years ago, when it was GM, supplied a number of OEMs outside of GM. That continues today."

The latest shift demanded good communications, Shaw said.

"We've been able to maintain those relationships by being very careful with any intellectual property that needs to remain confidential," he said. "It's certainly a concern; we've addressed the concern by speaking with each of these customers, letting them know our intentions.

"We'll protect their supply of parts like we do our own."

E-mail Julia Bauer: [email protected]

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