General Motors Co. unveiled a $288 million data center in the Detroit suburb of Warren on Monday it says will save the company millions of dollars in product development, manufacturing, marketing, and sales.
GM has outsourced many of its computing and information technology (IT) functions in recent years, which it says were more costly and not as effective as the two data centers will be for the Detroit-based company.
Construction of a $258 million companion data center at the GM vehicle proving grounds in Milford, Mich., will begin this summer.
The two new data centers for GM's global operations "will get newer vehicle designs and technologies into our customers' hands quicker and improve the bottom line," said GM Chief Executive Dan Akerson.
"It is back home where it should be, and it further drives unnecessary complexity from our businesses."
By 2015 when the Milford center is scheduled to be operational, GM's global IT footprint will be reduced to two facilities from 23, company officials said.
The Milford center will be about 40 miles from the Warren facility and allow a backup with duplicate services so work can continue if service is down at either of the centers, GM said.
GM officials said employees around the world will be able to get access to the super-computing abilities of the two data centers.
The value of the IT equipment for each of the centers is expected to be about $158 million, bringing the investment for the two centers to $546 million.
It will cut costs on crash tests, it said. Simulations by computer will generate data that will help in designing safer vehicles and save $350,000 for each crash test avoided, GM said.
Also, suppliers making tooling for GM vehicles in development will be paid quicker and allow them to prioritize deliver of critical parts, which may reduce engineering expenses by millions of dollars, GM said.