General Motors announced today it is investing $148 million to repurpose flexible machining and assembly equipment at its Spring Hill, Tenn., manufacturing plant to build V8 engines to meet market demand.
The investment will enable Spring Hill to quickly add capacity to build the Small Block 6.2L V8 engine in the popular truck and SUV segment. This will be the first time Spring Hill will build V8 engines.
The Spring Hill plant, located 40 miles south of Nashville, employs approximately 2,400 people. The investment will retain the jobs of 200 of those workers, GM is saying.
The 6.2L truck engine is currently available in the Chevrolet Silverado Crew Cab, GMC Sierra Crew Cab, Yukon Denali, Yukon XL Denali and the Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV. Other GM sites building the 6.2L V8 for trucks are Tonawanda, N.Y. and St. Catharines, Ontario.
The investments in Spring Hill are part of $709.4 million in investments GM has announced since ratification of the UAW-GM national agreement in 2015. Since 2010, GM has announced investments of more than $1.35 billion for the Spring Hill operation.
Arvin Jones, GM North America Manufacturing manager, said in a statement that the investment will give the plant’s engine machining and assembly operations the flexibility “to respond deftly when additional engine variant capacity is needed.”
Equipment repurposing will begin immediately, with Small Block 6.2L V8 production scheduled to begin during the fourth quarter of 2016. Having flexible equipment and machining is allowing GM to add capacity in a timeframe faster than the typical two to three years required to add a new engine line.
Opened in 1990, the Spring Hill facility facility produced Saturn until 2007. The facility produced the Chevrolet Traverse from 2008 to 2009 and the Chevrolet Equinox from 2012 to 2014. Currently, the site manufacturing operations consist of a flexible vehicle assembly plant producing the Cadillac XT5 and the GMC Acadia, an engine plant making 4-cylinder engines, a stamping plant, a body shop, a paint shop, and two polymer injection molding operations. Engines and stampings are supplied to various GM assembly plants around the globe.