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GM’s Tennessee future

Wednesday, June 3, 2009 , 12:01 a.m.

GM’s Tennessee future

Many Tennesseans were ecstatic when General Motors in 1985 chose the little town of Spring Hill in Middle Tennessee for its new Saturn automobile assembly factory. Now there is despondency as bankrupt GM has been forced by "bad times" to close the Spring Hill plant. But there are some reasons to hope that GM — and many good-job seekers — yet will have a happy future in Spring Hill.

Spring Hill was chosen in the first place because Tennessee is a good place to do business. The plant attracted many good workers. The facility is modern and could be adapted to new production much more easily and economically than it would be to build a "startup" manufacturing plant.

So there is hope that both GM and Spring Hill in time will, like the mythical Phoenix, "rise from the ashes" to resume an important role in providing many good jobs in the new car business.

The nearly 2,500 jobs that recently existed at Spring Hill’s GM plant now have been reduced to fewer than 600. But many more job losses are involved because they were created to serve the GM workers and the plant when it was going at full speed. It will be difficult for many people to adjust.

The former Saturn plant recently had been making Chevy Traverse models. But that work has now been shifted to Lansing, Mich. That means Spring Hill’s modern facilities could be a good place for a resumption of production, perhaps of a small new Chevy model that is reported to be in GM’s recovery plans.

All of this, of course, should make Chattanoogans, other Tennesseans and North Georgians very appreciative of the fact that Volkswagen has begun work on a new billion-dollar plant here, that will provide many additional local job opportunities as a constructive ripple effect occurs.

Business, like all of life, is a process of change, adjustment and looking forward. We expect Chattanooga and Tennessee and the car manufacturing business to be a big part of our constructive future, with many opportunities for our people.


Really Corker? You are disappointed?

After you stood on Capital Hill and bashed gm repeatedly, insisting they be forced in to bankruptcy to restructure and downsize?

After you got in front of every microphone and camera to tell the world what a horribly ran business gm was?

You got what you asked for pal!! You own this one.


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