General Motors will move production of the next-generation Cadillac SRX crossover from Mexico to Spring Hill, Tenn., where it will invest $185 million to expand assembly and engine production.
The investment gives new life to the site that was first developed for Saturn cars but was idled in the aftermath of GM’s 2009 bankruptcy reorganization.
The Cadillac SRX is currently made in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, where GM also produced the Chevrolet Captiva and Sonic. The three- and four-cylinder Ecotec engines, which Spring Hill workers also will produce, will be used in 27 models across five GM brands by the 2017 model year.
GM also said it will invest $48 million to upgrade its Bedford, Ind., casting plant, which is making parts for the engines.
The company had already announced that Spring Hill will produce two future midsize vehicles as part of a $350 million investment to “create or retain” about 1,800 jobs. The Cadillac SRX is the first vehicle GM publicly identified.
“We want to congratulate GM on this important investment in its future in Spring Hill and Middle Tennessee,” Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said. “Today’s announcement speaks volumes around the country and world about our state’s business-friendly climate and strengths in automotive manufacturing,”
UAW officials said GM would keep 415 jobs at the Spring Hill plant as a result of the SRX and engine investments.
“GM’s investment today is a huge testament to its confidence in Spring Hill’s workers, and is a great example of the economic opportunities we’ve been able to create here in Tennessee as a result of the collective bargaining process,” UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada said in a statement.
The Spring Hill factory, which currently has about 1,575 workers, closed for nearly two years in the wake of GM’s bankruptcy.
But the automaker agreed to reopen the 6.9-million-square-foot facility following talks with the UAW, and the factory started operating again in 2011. The plant currently makes the Chevrolet Equinox and engines, and it also has stamping, painting and injection-molding capabilities.
GM said the new lineup of Ecotec engines will include 11 variations, including some turbocharged engines, ranging from 75 horsepower to 165 horsepower.