GM Adding Third Shift at Tennessee Plant

Spring Hill expands XT5, Acadia production.

by on Oct.12, 2016

GM is adding a third shift to its Spring Hills, Tennessee, plant to build more GMC Acadia and Cadillac CT5 crossovers.

General Motors has announced plans to add a third shift and 650 jobs to its Spring Hill, Tennessee, plant to increase production of the Cadillac XT5 and GMC Acadia.

The news comes on the heels of GM’s commitment to Unifor, the union representing Canadian Auto Workers, to upgrade an assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario, outside of Toronto.

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The announcements boosting GM’s production capacity also reflect the apparent optimism of GM’s senior management, which believes sales of utility vehicles will remain steady and provide automaker with ample room to grow sales.

“Key economic fundamentals like a strong jobs market, rising personal incomes, low fuel prices and low interest rates continue to point toward strong industry performance,” said Mustafa Mohatarem, GM’s chief economist. “We think the industry is well positioned for a continued high level of customer demand into the foreseeable future.”

According to the company, Acadia is on dealer lots for an average of just 19 days while sales of the six-month-old XT5 are on the rise, totaling nearly 22,000 in the U.S.

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Sales of GM crossovers like the Acadia pushed the company to add a third shift at its Spring Hill plant.

The third shift in Spring Hill is expected to begin in January 2017. Staffing details are being finalized and positions will be filled starting this quarter.

“Spring Hill is demonstrating again its flexibility and agility to meet increasing customer demand for GM’s hot products,” said Cathy Clegg, vice president, GM North America Manufacturing & Labor Relations.

“Just last month, Spring Hill quickly converted engine production to meet higher demand for full-size truck engines,” Clegg said. “Now the Spring Hill team will need to move with lightning speed to launch a third shift in vehicle assembly in only three months.”

UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada added, “Today’s announcement of an added shift is a credit to UAW Spring Hill members who launched a highly successful quality product in the new Cadillac XT5 and GMC Acadia,” Estrada said.

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“It is a credit to the productive UAW workforce and GM Spring Hill team that 650 jobs are now being added in Tennessee,” Estrada said.

UAW Local 1853 President Tim Stannard, who represents hourly workers at the Spring Hill plant, said the UAW ultimately believes about 800 jobs will be added, the Detroit News reported.

The GM Spring Hill Manufacturing facility, which nearly closed permanently during GM’s 2009 bankruptcy, is located on 2,100 acres, 40 miles south of Nashville.

Originally built in the early 1990s for GM’s now-defunct Saturn Division, the sites’s manufacturing operations currently consist of a flexible vehicle assembly plant, including a body shop, paint shop, two polymer injection molding operations and general assembly, as well as an engine plant. There are 3,300 hourly and salaried employees.

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GM has invested more than $2 billion in investment for the facility in the last six years, including a $148 million investment to reuse machining and assembly equipment to build 6.2-liter V-8 engines for trucks. The facility is also expanding its engine plant – bringing an additional 800 jobs – as part of a $789 million investment announced in April.

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