Earlier this month General Motors announced that it was putting plans for the construction of a new engine plant in Flint, Michigan, on hold. The plant was to build a new range of 1.4L four-cylinder powertrains for cars like the Chevrolet Volt and Cruze, but a company spokesperson has now revealed that those plans have now been scrapped.

The first batch of engines to be used in the Volt will be sourced from a plant in Aspern, Austria, but eventually GM plans to update one of its existing Flint plants to start construction of the new powertrains. The move will save money and utilize available floorspace within the Flint South engine plant on Bristol Road, reports The Detroit News.

Preparation work at the Flint South plant will start in the third quarter of the year and engine production is expected to start in December 2010. The total cost of refurbishing the plant will be about $250 million as opposed to the $370 million needed to build a new plant.

The engine in question is a new 1.4L petrol unit from an engine group called the ‘Family 0’, which includes powerplants displacing between 1.0 and 1.4L. Family 0 engines first appeared as far back as 1997 and have been in production in Europe since then. A naturally-aspirated version of the 1.4L unit was destined for the Volt, while the upcoming Chevrolet Cruze was to use a more powerful turbocharged version.

GM has also revealed that a third of all its engines made in North America by 2011 will be four-cylinder units and 21% of those will be turbocharged - seven times the number of four-cylinder turbo engines it makes today.