General Motors is investing $185 million into Spring’s Hill’s auto plant, bringing production of a Cadillac crossover vehicle from Mexico to Tennessee. The plant currently makes the Chevy Equinox, with plans of adding one more vehicle in the near future. Still, the company says it won’t create any new jobs just yet.
GM also announced on Wednesday that it will start making small engines used in a variety of the company’s vehicles at the Spring Hill plant. In all, the investment means nearly 400 jobs will be retained.
“But that doesn’t mean we won’t be creating new jobs in Middle Tennessee. We will be,” said Spring Hill’s plant manager Ken Knight. He wouldn’t say how many jobs would be created, nor when they would be made public.
The Spring Hill plant, which spans 7-million-square feet, now employs around 2,300 workers, some hourly and others on contract. Amid the 2009 recession and GM’s bankruptcy reorganization, it halted production at the plant, which was originally built to produce now-defunct Saturn vehicles. Now, however, GM is expanding in the U.S. again.
In a statement, Gov. Bill Haslam said GM’s announcement “speaks volumes around the country and world about our state’s business-friendly climate and strengths in automotive manufacturing.”
When asked about the UAW’s presence at the plant, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander said it’s the right of employees to join a union. He said he respects that decision. And Gov. Bill Haslam echoed Alexander’s level of caution when it came to addressing the union’s role at the plant. Talking to reporters, Haslam said Tennessee has “a history of working with companies that are unionized as well as those that aren’t.”
In Bedford, Ind., GM announced on Wednesday it would pump $48 million to upgrade a plant there, retooling it for the production of engine parts.