Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, June 21, 2019

GM Spring Hill: From Saturn to high-end SUVs

Cadillac, catering to customers who like SUVs, is rolling out the XT6 premium luxury vehicle at Spring Hill’s GM plant. - Photograph courtesy of Cadillac

General Motors announced in 1985 that it would build a $3.5 billion plant in Spring Hill and employ 6,000 workers to build the new Saturn line of cars. There were 10 Saturn models built between 1990 and 2009.

The state of Tennessee spent a combined $95 million to lure Nissan to build an assembly plant in Smyrna in 1983 and GM to build an operation in Spring Hill two years later. The state also gave GM $35 million for retraining employees to build a new car after the Saturn run ended.

It’s not clear what the total amount of incentives to the Detroit automaker has been given since it set up shop in Tennessee.

The Spring Hill plant builds the Cadillac XT5 and is in the process of rolling out the new XT6, a three-row midsize crossover. It also makes the GMC Acadia, a midsize crossover SUV.

The Spring Hill facility also builds a number of engines for GM vehicles, including: 6.2-liter V8 engine that powers the Chevy Tahoe, GMC Yukon, Yukon XL and Cadillac Escalade. The plant also manufactures the all-new Cadillac 2-liter, GMC Acadia 2-liter and the Chevrolet 2.7-liter engines.

The plant currently employs 3,800 workers. Since 2010, the automaker has announced more than $2 billion in investments for the Spring Hill manufacturing operations.

In January, GM CEO Mary Barra came to Tennessee to announce a $22 million investment to enable the plant to build engines with the company’s Advanced Dynamic Fuel Management technology.

GM announced last year that it was cutting 15% of its workforce and would close five plants in Canada and the U.S. in an effort to save $6 billion through 2020. The Spring Hill plant was not affected.

– Sheila Burke