GM to invest $500 million in Saturn plant
Spring Hill was once the idyllic home of GM's quirky brand. Now it's the new site for its engine plant
Spring Hill, TN was once the site of General Motors’ grandest experiments – the Saturn automobile line. Through iconic advertising that talked of no-haggle prices and a family spirit among its workers and its owners, GM said it was trying to build “a truly different kind of car.”
When Saturn’s nameplate died last year amid the massive restructuring of GM, so did more than 2,000 jobs in Spring Hill. The plant was idled until last week, when GM announced it was starting the plant back up as a manufacturing center for the automaker’s four-cylinder Ecotec engines. The move will generate about 500 jobs and will be backed by an almost $500 million investment from GM.
“This engine is going to go ahead and provide job security to the Spring Hill team members for the next eight to 10 years,” Mike Herron, bargaining chairman for UAW Local 1853, told the Daily Herald in Maury County, TN.
“Given the incredible capital investment GM has made in this facility, given the strong quality of the vehicles that were shipped from here and the productivity of the workforce here in Tennessee, we’ve always believed that GM would use Spring Hill when the time was right,” Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen told the workers. “And I’m here today to tell you the time is right — right now.”
Also addressing the gathering to annouce the plant opening was Spring Hill mayor Mike Dinwiddie.
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey