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Spring Hill Mayor: GM Future ‘Positive’

Spring Hill Mayor: GM Future ‘Positive’

Sales Up At Dealership


POSTED: 5:14 pm CDT May 17, 2010
UPDATED: 12:58 am CDT May 18, 2010



For the first time in a long time, there’s good news about General Motors. The automaker announced it’s making money, and many in Spring Hill hope that good news will soon help them.



Many of those waiting for work at the Spring Hill assembly seem cautiously optimistic. In the heart of Columbia, Tenn., Adams Auto Group has been family-owned and selling GM vehicles for decades. Now, Robert Rogers is the one in charge. He said it hasn’t been easy to sell GM products, but it’s getting better.


"They’ve really focused in on the products," Rogers said. "Buick, for example, has really great stuff out."


In bankruptcy, GM streamlined, cut costs and shed many of its less-popular brands.


"It’s a lot more pinpoint focused, and there’s a lot more weight behind it," said Rogers. "They can spend more on fewer models, which is nice."


Monday, for the first time in about three years, GM announced a profit. The automaker made $865 million — much better than the $6 billion it lost in the same three months last year.


The difference is clear at Adams Auto Group. Sales are significantly up year-to-year, not only among GM loyalists but also increasingly among brand-new customers.


"We’re having Mercedes, BMWs, Toyotas, all of them being traded for our products," said Rogers. "They’re seeing the value."


At UAW Local 1853, Norm Jenks now faces the tough task of motivating a Spring Hill assembly workforce left idle by GM last year.


"With them having our plant on standby, it still leaves a little bit of room for doubt for our folks," Jenks. "We’re not hearing a lot of very real, positive things about future product coming here yet, but everyone is still hopeful."


Hundreds of laid-off Spring Hill workers are still in town, waiting for word and ready to work.


The mayor of Spring Hill shared the optimism and told Channel 4 News a local union leader was in Detroit meeting with GM in "positive" conversations about the automaker’s future.


The U.S. government loaned GM $50 billion to keep the company afloat and now owns 61 percent of the automaker.


GM’s CEO predicts a full-year profit for 2010. That could lead to a stock offering later this year and the full payback of the government loans.



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