GM to invest $789M in Spring Hill, $118M in Bay City

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

General Motors Co. said Wednesday that it will invest more than $900 million at two of its U.S. factories, including $788.7 million at its Spring Hill, Tennessee, manufacturing complex for a new engine program.

That investment is expected to create 792 new jobs and retaining 16.

The Detroit automaker also announced it will invest $118 million at its Bay City Powertrain plant, creating 29 jobs and retaining another 67 people. The carmaker said the investment at Bay City will support the new engine program.

GM said some of the investment at Spring Hill, a former Saturn plant, will be used to modernize vehicle production in the factory. Construction is expected to begin next month and last several years.

GM declined to provide specifics about the new, high-efficient engines or what vehicles they would be used in. It was not clear when jobs would be added in Spring Hill.

The automaker said in a statement that it is committed to the Spring Hill facility. The site opened in 1990 as a Saturn plant before it was ultimately idled in 2009 and some 2,000 workers were laid off. The automaker resumed some vehicle production in 2012 and has been increasing investment and production at the plant.

“Today’s announcement reinforces our absolute faith in this facility, and our strong commitment to this community and the state of Tennessee,” Arvin Jones, GM North America manufacturing manager, said in a statement.

GM, as part of its contract agreement with the UAW, said it planned to invest $1.9 billion in U.S. facilities over the life of the four-year deal, creating or retaining 3,300 jobs. Part of that potential investment included 133 jobs tied to powertrain components at Bay City Powertrain and 699 jobs in Spring Hill for an engine program and additional stamping capacity.

“UAW members at Spring Hill and Bay City have well-earned reputations for quality work and craftsmanship,” UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada said in a statement. “Since the 2015 collective bargaining agreement, GM has invested more than $1.7 billion and UAW-GM members, their families and their communities will all benefit for years to come.”

The Spring Hill complex builds the new Cadillac XT5 crossover and in May will begin building the redesigned GMC Acadia. The complex, which includes manufacturing, four-cylinder engine production, a stamping facility and a body shop, employs more than 2,600 workers.

In February, GM announced a $148 million investment at the Spring Hill plant to re-purpose equipment to build V-8 engines beginning later this year. The automaker has announced investments worth more than $2 billion at Spring Hill since 2010.

The Bay City plant employs about 394 employees, including 320 hourly workers, who make engine and transmission components. GM has announced investments worth $294.4 million since 2010 for the Bay City plant.

A GM spokesman said the company is not providing details on the products for Bay City or when it will add new workers.

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