GM’s plant in Spring Hill will start making cars again for the first time in two years. The factory had sat mostly idle except for some engine production. Now GM will spend about a quarter of a billion dollars on the plant and add almost two thousand jobs in two phases.
In the first phase, the plant will add 700 workers on a so-called “flex line,” meant to make whatever GM needs quickly to meet high demand. It will start next year on the popular Chevy Equinox.
GM Vice-President Cathy Clegg explained there’ll be more after that.
“We’re working towards a second phase of investment for Spring Hill, and I know this is very important to the union and to our members: this second phase will be a $183 million investment and create approximately an additional 1,200 jobs.”
Clegg says those jobs will come online in a couple of years, making a yet unspecified car for the 2015 model year.
Workers booed loudly when Senator Bob Corker approached the podium at Monday’s announcement. Corker was critical of the United Autoworkers when GM asked federal officials for a bailout, and union members haven’t forgotten. Someone shouted “election year, you’ll see!”
Corker said the day wasn’t about his tussle with the union, and that GM had a new lease on life. He wished workers Godspeed in making the most of it.
Almost 700 jobs are coming to the idled GM plant in Spring Hill next year. They’ll work on a new flexible production line that changes what it makes based on what’s in demand. Eventually the plant will add more than a thousand other jobs building a car for the 2015 model year.
The so-called “flex line” will start making the Chevy Equinox next year. GM hasn’t yet said what kind of car it will put Spring Hill on full-time, but workers are happy the plant’s back in gear. It sat mostly idle the last two years, after GM sent production of its Chevy Traverse to Michigan, putting hundreds of workers out of a job.
Willie Gates says he’s been driving back and forth to work in Michigan, but today’s announcement means he’ll soon have a lot more time close to his family.
“My wife has been missing me every time I come home on the weekend. She starts crying when it’s time for me to leave. It’s just been a stressful situation, and I’m glad that it’s almost coming to an end.”
GM says its investment at the plant will total almost a quarter of a billion dollars. The plant’s growth is also expected to spur thousands of other new jobs in the area.