• Jun 12th 2009 at 10:57AM
  • 47
Provided that it survives bankruptcy, General Motors plans to build a small car somewhere in the US. The General has stated that it is investigating three sites to build the yet unnamed vehicle; Janesville, Wisconsin; Orion, Michigan; and Spring Hill Tennessee. GM previously announced that all three facilities would close, though it subsequently said that one location would ultimately reopen.

GM hasn't publicly laid out parameters for picking which plant will produce the new vehicle(s), but the state of Tennessee says that the biggest requirement is money. Governor Phil Bredesen reportedly told The Tennessean that GM has asked for at least $200 million to stay in the game, characterizing talks with the General as "Tell me how big of a check you're going to write." We're not talking tax breaks, either, as Bredesen is quoted in the article as saying:
"They don't care about tax credits and those other kinds of things...it certainly was a new look for me at how they're approaching this thing, which is absolutely, 'Tell me how big of a check you're going to write.'"
GM isn't talking about its specific requirements for the small car plant, saying that the talks are "private discussions." Officials from Michigan and Wisconsin are following suit, but Tennessee is taking a different stance. Bredesen says the state doesn't have the kind of money that GM is asking for, and he told The Tennessean that "this is not a year in which I've got a spare couple of hundred million dollars from the rainy day fund to use for something like this."

GM has not yet come up with a timetable for announcing the winner of the small car facility sweepstakes. Thanks for the tip, JayP!

[Source: The Tennessean]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      My opinion.... GM does not intend for Tennessee to pay the $200 million. GM just intends to leave decision of closing of the plant with Tennessee. The state has the option to save the plant, the tax revenue, the jobs, etc. If the state doesn't take the option, people won't be able to point the finger directly at GM for the plant closing. "Tennessee didn't want to step up and preserve the jobs." The other issue here is that if Springhill goes, it'll hurt the other Tennessee plants since I'm guessing they all share local (intrastate) vendors. Some of them will fold as well. I'm sure GM would be willing to keep the plant open for less, but Tennessee will have to earnestly persuade GM to keep Spring Hill open, and by that I mean publically kiss GM's a$$ ;-)
      • 6 Years Ago
      Money for nothing and chicks for free!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wawadelco, Nixapatfan, and BrianFl, you hit the nail on the head. Corker jumped on the "lets yell at the automakers" band-wagon with the other ignorant representatives. He then realized he put his foot in his mouth after finding out he had a GM plant in his state.

      Too late. Damage done. Spring Hill = gone.

      GM should re-open Janesville, or better yet, keep Orion Assembly open for the new small car.

      Michigan's been devastated by Ford, GM, and Chrysler lay-offs for autoworkers and thousands of support businesses (restaurants, day-care centers, etc.) If "Jenny Granholm" stops leaching off of Obama long enough, maybe she'll do her job to keep people employed in her state instead of making ignorant trips to companies in China asking them to manufacture here.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yup...let the plant go to MI or WI. Both states have been hit hard by the contracting auto industry. Chrysler's (AMC's former) plant in Kenosha closed not long ago. While Janesville isn't terribly close to Kenosha, reopening that plant would help offset the losses in Kenosha.

        Reopening Orion would give the Pontiac, MI (hell, even the Flint) workers a place to transfer.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I am out of words
        • 6 Years Ago
        I can't begin to express how relieved Rick Wagoner feels at this moment.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Thank Gawd, I hope your malady is terminal.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Congratulations. You've recognized that you generally have nothing to say that's worth reading. Please try to keep that in mind when preparing to post in the future as well.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Once again reality is being ignored, and we all get to watch as the the economic is replaced with the political.

      This magical pixie-dust creating small car will be another failure (GM's specialty). Building small cars stateside with UAW labor is close to impossible. This is not a new revelation. GM is deciding what to build based on political wish lists, then plans to go find the needed consumers later. Success is just around the corner, I can feel it.

      The taxpayers of TN should not be compelled to fork over another welfare check for these incompetent boobs. The political winds will change, as they always do. There will be more pain to come when this zombie of a corporation is finally put out to pasture. Uncle Barack's welfare teat will go dry at some point.

      Trash Corker all you want, but he opposed all the bailouts. Including wall street. If only all politicians could be so consistent.

      Lastly, if other firms can build cars in TN without the UAW (and I'm assuming the wages in Spring Hill would generally be in line with the transplants) what the hell is the UAW offering again? The UAW can finally die now, they won. All the evil capitalists in detroit have been neutered and are welfare queens, just like the unions. Except Ford of course, but thats just a matter of time.
      • 6 Years Ago
      gm has been sucking at the government teat for the entire 20th century (federal highway policy etc.).
      • 6 Years Ago
      Standard practice for big business. Companies always lean on local and state governments for breaks. And they usually get them. This was the entire point of having this selection process and announcing the prospective locations for plants.
      • 6 Years Ago
      First they went to the Federal government for cash. Now are approaching state governments. What next? Mayor's offices?
        • 6 Years Ago
        See Detroit for the answer to that.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Mayor's offices are not next they're past history, companies have been asking for tax breaks from municipalities for years.
        • 6 Years Ago
        No need for GM to do that , they ARE the federal government now!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Tennessee offered a $197-million relocation package as a lure to Nissan North America. This package included much more than just tax breaks and, frankly, is just another example of states like this using predatory practices to pander (and I specifically use this term here) to any company that might come along.

      They're the Irwindale to GM's Al Davis.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Plus Nissan got the land it's plant is built on for free.
        • 6 Years Ago
        There's no shame at GM, they'd ask the Salvation Army for money.
      • 6 Years Ago

      How about, if you need money to make a factory work... You make the factory either generate that value, or close it down. The people in that factory have that responsibility. The taxpayers of the state of Tennessee do NOT bear your burden.

      This bullcrap has to stop. people are being put on the hook for things that are not their responsibility, and are the failures of others. This country will not work that way, especially at the point of the government's gun when they come to collect your taxes.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well with the treat of losing a lot of jobs if the plant closes. More people on unemployment and less money being brought into the state from income taxes. I would give them the money as long as they wont close.
        • 6 Years Ago
        What guarantee do they have?

        We were told that the federal bail out would be a loan... Now it isn't.

        Maybe they should either get competitive, or get the hell out of the way for someone who can be competitive. Maybe the workers should make sure that happens for themselves, as well, either by GM, or by some other employer.

        Since when is this a valid taxable event?

        Can I tell the state that I don't want to pay taxes? Can I tell them that I want a hand-out from someone ELSE's taxes?

        That is immoral. DEEPLY. And it never works well.
      • 6 Years Ago
      So far they aren't asking for this from the other contenders.

      If Tennesse's facility is not up to same level as the others, then Tennesse can either pony up the cash to close the difference or they're out of the running.

      Instead of just taking them off the list of contenders for business reasons, they are giving Tennesse a chance of keeping those jobs.

      And like someone said, Tennesse has been able to find big money for Importer's assembly operations, so its only logical to give them this chance to stay in.
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