With demand for four-cylinder engines increasing, General Motors is investing in the Spring Hill, Tennessee plant. The company plans to spend $483 million and add 483 jobs as it attempts to meet demand for vehicles with the Ecotec engine.
The four-cylinder engine is found in some of GM's most popular vehicles like the Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Equinox, and GMC Terrain. The investment in the Spring Hill plant will move forward, GM North America President Mark Reuss said, as long as incentive negotiations with local and state officials are successful.
“This new commitment to the Spring Hill team will help GM almost triple its North American production volume of four-cylinder engines with direct injection by 2012," Reuss said.
That's especially important considering the direction the high-volume Malibu sedan may be heading. It's been suggested that the Malibu's next generation will sport only four-cylinder powerplants, as Hyundai has done with the Sonata.
A total of $460 million and 453 jobs will focus on preparing the next generation of Ecotec engines.
The Spring Hill plant made 270,526 2.0- and 2.4-liter Ecotec engines in 2009.
For more on the plant, here's a quick history, straight from GM:
Plant History: 1988 – Topping-out ceremonies for Powertrain plant – first building on site, housing a foundry, transmission and engine manufacturing operations 1989 – First Saturn 1.9-liter engine produced in the Powertrain facility July 30, 1990 – The first Saturn – a red SL Sedan - rolled off the line in Assembly 2000 – Spring Hill breaks ground for new Powertrain building which will produce the global Ecotec 4-cylinder engine August 29, 2002 – Last Saturn S-series rolls off the line 2002 – Production of Ecotec engine for Saturn VUE and ION begins in Spring Hill October 3, 2003 – Spring Hill produces 3 millionth vehicle 2003 – In the final year of production, Saturn transmission operations were cited as the most improved transmission plant in productivity on the 2003 Harbour Report June 26, 2004 – National Contract ratified by UAW Local 1853 2005 – Spring Hill Powertrain begins shipping Ecotec 4-cylinder engines to China 2006 – Spring Hill Powertrain launches Ecotec 2.0L Turbocharged Direct Injection Engine March 28, 2007 – Last Saturn ION rolled off the line March 30, 2007 – Last Saturn VUE rolled off the line April 1, 2007 – Conversion to new Traverse production facility begins 2007 – Spring Hill Powertrain named “Most Efficient Engine Plant in North America” on 2007 Harbour Report September 2, 2008 – Production of Chevy Traverse begins October 3, 2008 – Celebration of the launch of the Chevy Traverse 2008 – Spring Hill Powertrain begins shipping Ecotec 2.0L Turbocharged Direct Injection Engines to Europe 2009 – Spring Hill Powertrain launches Directed Injected 2.4L Engine September 2009 – Spring Hill produces the 2,000,000th Ecotec Engine 2010 – Ecotec 2.4 L Direct Injection Four-Cylinder Engine Awarded Ward’s North American “10Best Engines”