GM to add second engine shift, 100 jobs at Spring Hill

September 19, 2013

GM to add second engine shift, 100 jobs at Spring Hill

By G. Chambers Williams III
| The Tennessean

General Motors’ Spring Hill plant will add a second shift to its new Ecotec four-cylinder engine assembly line in January, adding about 100 jobs to the plant’s current workforce, the company said Thursday.

The automaker will fill some of the positions using internal candidates, but will hire some from outside the plant through a pool of pre-qualified applicants, according to the United Auto Workers union, which represents the hourly workers at the facility. Hiring will take place beginning in January, but continue through the year as the line ramps up.

“We’re in local negotiations now with the company,” said Mike Herron, chairman of UAW Local 1853 at the plant. “This addition of jobs is directly related to the competitiveness of the outstanding workforce in Spring Hill that continues to make world-class engines for General Motors products.”

GM has two Ecotec four-cylinder engine production lines at Spring Hill, now employing a total of about 600 workers. The expansion will take place on the newer of the two, which opened in August 2012. It produces the newest-generation of the Ecotec four-cylinder – the LCV 2.5-liter, a more-fuel-efficient version that is used in such vehicles as the Chevrolet Malibu, Impala and Equinox.

“The 2014 LCV 2.5-liter is a smaller engine with very high fuel efficiency,” Herron said. “With federal fuel economy standards going to 55 mpg in a few years, you’re going to see some quantum leaps in technology. This is the direction the market is going – with four-cylinder engines that produce as much power as six- and eight-cylinders did just a few years ago.”

The Spring Hill plant also builds four-cylinder versions of the Equinox crossover utility vehicle, which uses the engines also made in the facility. About 1,700 hourly workers are now employed at Spring Hill.

In August, GM said it would spend $350 million to add two more vehicles to the Spring Hill assembly line by 2015, in addition to the Equinox. That would add or retain about 1,800 workers, GM said.

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