The factory is one of GM's six facilities around the globe that will screw together the company's new line of three- and four-cylinder Ecotec engines. Spring Hill currently builds the 2.0-liter, turbocharged Ecotec, as well as the naturally aspirated 2.4 and 2.5-liter variants.
Spring Hill's vehicle assembly lines were idled in 2009, but were reactivated in 2011. The SRX is just one of the products meant to benefit from last year's $350-million investment, and should have a positive impact, creating or retaining around 1,800 positions at the factory.
How big that impact will be, though, is open for debate. According to a new report from Reuters, some of the production of Spring Hill's current vehicle, the Chevrolet Equinox, will move to GM's Ramos Arizpe, Mexico factory when that vehicle is redesigned in 2017, Reuters reports. Neither GM nor the UAW offered any comment to Reuters, although an unnamed GM spokesman did add that it's "fair to say" there will be a net increase in jobs at the factory.
Scroll down for the official press release announcing the new engine and SRX production venues from GM.
Investments support customer demand for small displacement engines
SPRING HILL, Tenn. – General Motors will invest $185 million to make small gas engines at its Spring Hill manufacturing complex, retaining 390 jobs. GM also identified the next-generation Cadillac SRX as a future mid-size vehicle to be produced at Spring Hill.
An additional $48.4 million investment is planned for the Bedford, Ind. powertrain castings plant, creating or retaining 45 jobs.
Both investments support GM's new small displacement engine, which is part of an all-new Ecotec engine family that will be used by five GM brands in 27 models by the 2017 model year, powering many of the company's high-volume small car and compact-crossover vehicles.
Spring Hill is among six manufacturing locations around the globe that will produce the new engine.
The new Ecotec portfolio includes 11 engines with three- and four-cylinder variants ranging from 1.0L to 1.5L – including turbocharged versions – and power ratings ranging from 75 horsepower (56 kW) to 165 horsepower (123 kW), and torque ranging from 70 lb-ft (95 Nm) to 184 lb-ft (250 Nm).
"The new Ecotec engine family represents the most advanced and efficient small displacement gasoline engines in GM's history," said Arvin Jones, GM North America manufacturing manager. "It was a good business decision to produce this powertrain in Bedford and Spring Hill. Both teams have strong performance records, especially in quality."
GM Spring Hill currently manufactures the award-winning Ecotec 2.0L turbocharged direct injection 4-cylinder engine, the Ecotec 2.4L direct injection 4-cylinder engine and Ecotec 2.5L direct injection engine, which powers the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu and Chevrolet Impala. Bedford currently produces transmission casings, converter housings and small gas engine blocks.
"This is an all-around good news story for our members in Spring Hill and Bedford," said UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada who leads the union's GM Department. "We worked with GM to create this success story through the collective bargaining process. We are pleased with the opportunity to continue to work with the Spring Hill and Bedford leadership to build world-class quality products, which will include the new Ecotec engine program, and are looking forward to the next-generation Cadillac SRX being returned to the USA."
The naming of the Cadillac SRX program follows GM's previously announced $350 million investment in Spring Hill for two future mid-size vehicles expected to create or retain approximately 1,800 jobs.
"We want to congratulate GM on this important investment in its future in Spring Hill and Middle 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, bringing us another step closer to our goal of making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs."
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com