September 3, 2014 at 4:27 pm

GM supplier Magna to open new plant in Tennessee

Magna International Inc. confirmed Wednesday that it will open a new plant in Spring Hill, Tenn., to manufacture seat assemblies for General Motors Co.’s Spring Hill manufacturing complex.

Magna, in a news release, said the 122,500-square-foot plant under construction will be completely operational in January.

The supplier said the Spring Hill plant will be its fifth location in Tennessee. Magna’s Spring Hill location is expected to employ about 75 when production begins next year. Work will relocate from a nearby location in Columbia, Tenn., Magna spokeswoman Tracy Fuerst confirmed in an email.

The initial workers are expected to come from Magna’s current hourly and salaried employees, though employment is expected to grow to 360 in 2016, Fuerst said in an email.

GM is working to bring suppliers closer to its plants to help logistic costs and improve quality. The seating factory is less than a mile from GM’s plant.

GM announced last week that its Spring Hill plant will build the next-generation Cadillac SRX. That vehicle is shifting production from a GM plant in Mexico.

“This new facility demonstrates our commitment to GM in delivering high-quality products through our world-class manufacturing initiatives,” Mike Bisson, president of Magna Seating, said in a statement. “We are pleased to support our customer and look forward to potential growth opportunities.”

The city of Spring Hill and Maury County in Tennessee last week said they were giving a combined $2 million in tax incentives to two out-of-state auto parts makers. The city of Spring Hill said what it had called “Project Angus” — before Magna’s announcement — was expected to create 357 jobs. A second supplier, known as “Project Buckeye” because it is based in Ohio, is expected to create 217 jobs in Spring Hill.

mburden@detroitnews.com