General Motors to Build V8 Engines at the Former Saturn Plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee

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GM says it will invest $148 million to repurpose flexible machining and assembly equipment at its Spring Hill Manufacturing plant to build V8 engines to meet market demand, retaining approximately 200 jobs. The investment will enable Spring Hill to quickly add capacity to build the Small Block 6.2L V8 engine in the popular truck and SUV segment. This will be the first time Spring Hill will build V8 engines. The 6.2L truck engine is currently available in the Chevrolet Silverado Crew Cab, GMC Sierra Crew Cab, Yukon Denali, Yukon XL Denali and the Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV.

The aluminum Small Block engine features a suite of technology for efficiency and performance, including Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation), direct injection and continuously variable valve timing. Other GM sites building the 6.2L V8 for trucks are Tonawanda, N.Y. and St. Catharines, Ontario.

The investments in Spring Hill are part of $709.4 million in investments GM has announced since ratification of the UAW-GM national agreement in 2015. Since 2010, GM has announced investments of more than $1.35 billion for the Spring Hill operations.

“This investment will position GM and its workforce to promptly respond to consumer demand for this engine in the popular truck and SUV segment,” said Arvin Jones, GM North America Manufacturing Manager. “The flexibility of Spring Hill’s engine machining and assembly equipment is allowing GM to respond deftly when additional engine variant capacity is needed.”

Equipment repurposing will begin immediately with Small Block 6.2L V8 production scheduled to begin during the fourth quarter of 2016. Having flexible equipment and machining is allowing GM to add capacity in a timeframe faster than the typical two to three years required to add a new engine line.

“Spring Hill and its employees have a reputation for producing award-winning 4-cylinder engines,” said UAW Local 1853 Chairman Mike Herron. “We appreciate GM recognizing these outstanding skills with the opportunity to build V8 engines for some of GM’s most popular full-size trucks and SUVs.”

Source: GM

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Flashback Friday: How Saturn Built a Brand

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Saturn launched its lineup of compact sedans and coupes in the fall of 1990 as an relatively unknown and untested manufacturer of "a different kind of car." The Saturn team did the impossible by implementing a set of strategies that included building quality vehicles and crafting an intriguing message that attracted car buyers who had written off domestic cars long ago. That was no small feat. In his book, "Building Strong Brands," author David Aaker set out to "not only to describe what was done but also to suggest the logic behind the strategies: why they were pursued, and how they were intended to contribute to the brand." He concluded that "although certainly some elements of the Saturn strategy may have been critical, it was the synergy of the total program rather than the power of any single element - that led to its success."