One stipulation of the latest GM-UAW contract was that the automaker would get back to building cars at its Spring Hill, Tennessee, assembly plant. To that end, GM has announced today that it will be creating around 1881 jobs and making an investment of some $244 million at Spring Hill so that it can produce the present Chevrolet Equinox and future yet-to-be-named midsized vehicles, most likely starting with the new Chevy Malibu.
GM’s initial investment in the ex-Saturn plant – now known as Spring Hill Flex Assembly — will total $61 million, mainly to get the Equinox line up and running. GM will not be moving all Equinox production to Spring Hill; rather it will be supplementing the current Canadian production line (where the GMC Terrain is also built) with the new capability. GM says the Equinox has been so popular that it has had to increase production capacity three times since its debut in 2009. The $61 million investment is set to create 594 hourly jobs and 91 salaried positions at Spring Hill by the time Equinox production kicks off in the second half of 2012.
GM’s second investment at the Spring Hill complex will be for future midsized vehicle production. While GM is currently mum on what exactly that midsized vehicle will be, we suspect either 2013 Chevy Malibu or perhaps the next-generation Impala could be a prime candidate for Spring Hill production. GM’s second Spring Hill investment will be a large one, with an outlay of around $183 million to ramp up midsize car production. The $183 million investment is expected to create 1090 hourly jobs and 106 salaried positions.
No timeline has yet been announced for the second investment. The Spring Hill Assembly Plant currently produces the current line of Ecotec four-cylinder engines and is capable of producing the next-generation of Ecotec engines as well.