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GM rumors spark hope

GM rumors spark hope



A local UAW official said he was encouraged by a report in a Detroit newspaper that the GM/Spring Hill Manufacturing plant may need to recall workers to help satisfy customer demand for General Motors’ Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain crossovers.

“I’m reluctant to comment on speculation, but the fact that our plant is continually brought up whenever these stories appear is always encouraging,” said Mike Herron, UAW local 1853 Chairman.

The story in Friday’s Detroit Free Press stated: “To build more vehicles faster, GM is considering installing body shops that are largely manual — as opposed to an automated line — in a factory, possibly its idled Spring Hill, Tenn., plant, according to people familiar with the discussions.”

The article quoted an unidentified source as saying officials were still considering options. Another source said the decision to go to largely manual body shops has been made and it would take about three months to get one up and running.

According to one estimate, the move could save the company as much as 20 months in time and more than $100 million over the expense of installing a new automated line, with increased labor costs offset by higher margins on the additional vehicles to be sold.

Heron said he had read the Free Press article early Friday morning, but his office had not yet heard anything from GM representatives.

“GM knows we have a world-class facility and workforce and that we are extremely flexible and able to build anything they need,” Herron said. “They have always told us we’re in standby mode and would be coming back. There appears to be a need, so we are hopeful and welcome the opportunity to fill it.”

GM’s U.S. inventory at the end of January was reported as 390,000 vehicles. Susan Docherty, GM vice president of sales recently told reporters she would like to see that number increased by as many as 60,000 more vehicles.






Story created Feb 07, 2010 - 17:49:57 EST.

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