Representatives with General Motors have announced they have plans to invest $148 million at their Spring Hill Manufacturing plant.
The investment was being made to repurpose flexible machining and assembly equipment to build V8 engines to meet market demand. The move was also set to retain approximately 200 jobs.
Officials said the investment would enable Spring Hill to quickly add capacity to build the Small Block 6.2L V8 engine in the popular truck and SUV segment.
They added it would be the first time Spring Hill would build V8 engines.
That engine has been available in the Chevrolet Silverado Crew Cab, GMC Sierra Crew Cab, Yukon Denali, Yukon XL Denali, and the Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV.
Representatives said other General Motors sites that build the 6.2L V8 for trucks included Tonawanda, New York and St. Catharines, Ontario.
The $148 million Spring Hill investment has been part of $709.4 million in investments GM has announced since ratification of the UAW-GM national agreement in 2015.
Those with GM have announced investments of more than $1.35 billion for the Spring Hill operations since 2010.
“This investment will position GM and its workforce to promptly respond to consumer demand for this engine in the popular truck and SUV segment,” said Arvin Jones, GM North America Manufacturing Manager. “The flexibility of Spring Hill’s engine machining and assembly equipment is allowing GM to respond deftly when additional engine variant capacity is needed.”
“Spring Hill has long been known primarily as a commuter suburb with most of our residents working in Nashville, Franklin and Brentwood, but we want people to know that Spring Hill is evolving and we are gradually creating our own good jobs here in Spring Hill so many of our residents won’t have to drive out of town to work,” Spring Hill Mayor Rick Graham said in response to Thursday’s GM announcement. “And the more jobs we create here at home means less long-distance commuter traffic on our roads, which helps to address the larger traffic issues that come with our city’s rapid growth.”
GM officials said equipment repurposing was set to begin immediately with Small Block 6.2L V8 production scheduled to begin during the fourth quarter of 2016.
“Spring Hill and its employees have a reputation for producing award-winning 4-cylinder engines,” said UAW Local 1853 Chairman Mike Herron. “We appreciate GM recognizing these outstanding skills with the opportunity to build V8 engines for some of GM’s most popular full-size trucks and SUVs.”
Representatives added having flexible equipment and machining has allowed GM to add capacity in a timeframe faster than the typical two to three years required to add a new engine line.