GM plans new engine work at Spring Hill, TN, report says

GM plans new engine work at Spring Hill, TN, report says



By CHRISSIE THOMPSON • Detroit Free Press • September 13, 2010


General Motors will build the next generation of its Ecotec four-cylinder engines at its plant in Spring Hill, Tenn., continuing some investment in the former Saturn assembly plant, a person familiar with the matter said today.


GM plans to announce the news as soon as Friday, said the source, who lacked authorization to speak and declined to be named.

The Spring Hill plant already builds four-cylinder engines for the Chevrolet Equinox and Malibu, GMC Terrain, Buick LaCrosse. GM also produces Ecotecs in Tonawanda, N.Y.


GM said in February it would build the next-generation four-cylinders in Tonawanda, calling back 480 laid-off workers, but the automaker hadn’t provided details about Spring Hill’s future.


GM idled the assembly portion of the Spring Hill plant last year in the wake of its bankruptcy. The factory, which opened in 1989, built its last Saturn in 2007 and built the Chevrolet Traverse in its last months of production.


The plant employs 1,045 workers in powertrain, stamping and some component work for the Traverse, which is now built in Lansing.


Ecotec production will start in spring 2012 in Tonawanda and will likely start in early 2013 in Spring Hill, the source said.


The plants currently make different versions of the Ecotec engines, but in the next generation, both factories will be able to make all versions, the person said. That will prevent disruption of production.


GM spokesman Tom Read declined to comment.

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