GM to announce Cadillac crossover headed to Spring Hill – The Tennessean
The next-generation Cadillac SRX likely will be produced at the GM plant in Spring Hill, and news about a new GMC vehicle to be assembled at the plant also could be included in Wednesday morning’s press conference at the facility.
If both vehicles are assembled in Spring Hill, it means 1,800 jobs for the plant, and would follow through on a deal the automaker made with the United Auto Workers union in 2011.
Numerous industry sources and a previous announcement from the Tennessee Department of Economic aand Community Development have confirmed that the plant will get new Cadillac and GMC vehicles to assemble, in addition to its current product, the Chevrolet Equinox.
Popular Detroit blogs that cover GM have also suggested that the next generation of the GMC Acadia crossover would be a downsized version made on the same architecture as the new Spring Hill-bound SRX. That would make it the logical second vehicle for Spring Hill, although GM has declined to confirm specifically that the plant would get either vehicle.
A July news release from Gov. Bill Haslam and the state Department of Economic and Community Development noted that supplier ABC Group would be expanding its Gallatin plant to make “console, interior trim and load floors for the new GMC and Cadillac vehicles produced at the General Motors plant in Spring Hill.”
If only one vehicle is announced during Wednesday’s event, it’s most likely to be the Cadillac, as it is scheduled to begin production late next year and come to market as a 2016 model. The Acadia, isn’t scheduled to start production until spring 2016, and it would hit showrooms as a 2017 model.
GM announced last August that it would spend a total of $350 million and create or retain at least 1,800 jobs at Spring Hill to support expansion of the once-shuttered vehicle assembly line, adding two new midsize vehicles. Those vehicles for Spring Hill were included in negotiations with the UAW for a new contract in summer 2011.
“This is a continuation of the relationship General Motors and the UAW have had, being creative in solving business challenges together,” Jim Glynn, GM’s vice president for labor, said after the August 2013 announcement. He would not say then when hiring for the new jobs might begin, but said they would come over the next three years as the two new vehicles are put into production.
The Spring Hill plant, which formerly was the headquarters and main assembly facility for GM’s now-defunct Saturn brand, ended vehicle production in November 2009 when manufacture of the Chevrolet Traverse large crossover was moved to Michigan in the wake of the GM bankruptcy reorganization.
In the August 2013 announcement, GM said it would add “$167 million to a previously announced $183 million pledge” to expand the plant. That includes “an additional $40 million” that would “support a future midsize vehicle program,” which would “create or retain approximately 1,000 jobs.”
The new investment would also add “a second midsize vehicle program” and “create or retain approximately 800 jobs,” GM said at the time.
The UAW is “excited” about getting the additional expansion at the plant and welcomes the challenge of “producing more top-quality vehicles” for GM in Spring Hill, UAW Local 1853 Shop Chairman Michael Herron said after the previous announcement.
Besides four-cylinder models of the Equinox, the plant also makes fuel-efficient four-cylinder Ecotec engines and body parts for various GM vehicles.
Reach G. Chambers Williams III at 615-259-8076 and on Twitter @gchambers3.