(Adds GM confirmation, details, background)
DETROIT Aug 27 General Motors Co will
shift production of its Cadillac SRX crossover vehicle from
Mexico to its plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee, where the company
once built vehicles for its defunct Saturn brand, the company
and the United Auto Workers union said on Wednesday.
UAW President Dennis Williams said in a statement that the
shift of jobs from Mexico to a U.S. plant "is a big victory" for
The production of the SRX and a GMC midsize vehicle that has
yet to be named will require about 1,800 unionized hourly
workers, GM said. But a GM spokeswoman said it was not yet known
how many jobs will shift from Mexico to Spring Hill as a result
of the SRX production.
A year ago, GM announced that it would invest $350 million
at Spring Hill to add the production of two new vehicles. The
plant now makes the Chevrolet Equinox crossover.
There are about 1,600 unionized hourly workers at the plant,
but GM did not break down how many of those workers make engines
for GM vehicles and how many assemble the Equinox.
GM will invest about $185 million in the plant near
Nashville to make small gasoline engines. This will help the
company retain about 400 unionized jobs, the UAW and GM said.
GM suspended production of autos at the plant in 2009 when
it went through a government-sponsored bankruptcy. The plant
continued to operate at reduced capacity as an engine plant
until 2012 when GM resumed building vehicles there.
GM also announced that it would spend $48.4 million and
create or retain about 45 jobs at its Bedford, Indiana casting
GM said the Spring Hill plant will be one of six plants
around the world that will build its new "Ecotec" small engines,
which will be used to power 27 models for five GM brands by the
2017 model year.
The former Saturn plant was once the site of GM's experiment
with a more collaborative relationship with workers based in
part on the model of Japanese automakers led by Toyota Motor
GM scrapped the Saturn brand in 2009. By that time, Saturn
production had been already shifted away from Spring Hill.
(Reporting by Bangalore Newsroom and Bernie Woodall in Detroit;
Editing by Jonathan Oatis)