GM says the new EcoTec3 engine, built in Tonawanda, optimizes fuel economy and power.
"These are great engines and that's been a great plant for us," said Wilkinson. "These are very, very important products."
Wilkinson says the V-8 and V-6 engines are state-of-the art for power and efficiency. The automaker says it hopes the new vehicles will reinvigorate truck sales as the pickup market tries to recover from the down economy.
GM invested $400 million in the Tonawanda Engine plant in 2010. The Tonawanda plant is also building engines for the next generation of Corvette.