General Motors is sinking $167 million into its assembly plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee, to build two new “midsize vehicle projects.” Today’s announcement follow a previous pledge to invest $183 million in the plant, and are expected to create or retain approximately 1800 jobs.
The Spring Hill plant opened in 1990 as the manufacturing plant for GM’s Saturn division. As GM announced the discontinuation of the Saturn brand, the plant was idled for a year to prepare for production of the 2009 Chevrolet Traverse crossover. Then, when Traverse production moved to Lansing, Michigan, the plant was again retooled to build the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain crossovers as overflow for the Canadian plant that originally produced these vehicles. This second reworking also designed the plant for rapid retooling for other vehicles, and these two new projects are representative of this capability.
GM breaks the investment down into two projects, each referred to as a “mid-size vehicle program.” However, GM is not releasing any more information about these vehicles for now other than confirmation that these will be two additional vehicles for the Spring Hill plant rather than a next-generation of the Equinox and its mechanical twin, the Terrain.
We think this expansion may foretell the arrival of a midsize Buick crossover, which we spied testing earlier this year and is rumored to be called the Anthem. This model would fit in between the compact Encore and three-row Enclave in Buick’s crossover lineup. Sources also say that production of the next-generation Cadillac SRX—which is currently produced in Mexico—could move to the Spring Hill plant, as this vehicle, along with the Buick crossover, should be based on a modified premium version of the next-generation Equinox platform.
Although GM has not announced any information on when these projects will start production, stay tuned for more information about these upcoming vehicles from GM as the Spring Hill plant prepares for its expansion.