General Motors announced Tuesday it’s adding a third shift to the company’s Spring Hill plant, hiring 650 workers and increasing production.
For a plant that once had an uncertain future, the additional shift signifies the Detroit-based automaker is finally running the facility closer to full tilt. That’s thanks to its new mid-size Cadillac SUV, the XT5, produced at the plant. Despite the softening of U.S. auto sales in recent months, the vehicle has already become the brand’s best seller.
Since 2015, GM has upped the plant’s production and invested hundreds of millions of dollars into the facility. It also hired thousands more workers, though many of them temp employees. The ramp up was seen as big opportunity for local auto workers like Randall Turrentine.
“I am excited,” Turrentine says. “I’ve been overworked and underpaid for a while now.”
The Spring Hill plant opened in 1990 as the flagship site for producing Saturns. But it was nearly shuttered in 2009, after the auto industry went into crisis. It ended up being partially idled until 2011, during which more than two thousand plant workers were either laid off, forced to take buy-outs or accept early retirement.
The plant is back up to 3,300 hourly and salaried workers.