Spring Hill Going Electric

General Motors invests $2 billion towards full EV production in Tenn.

Last month’s announcement that California will ban production of all new gas-powered cars by 2035 offered an indication of the “EV timeline”—or how long it will be until electric vehicles truly begin to carve out a larger market share in the United States. More news this week from a major General Motors plant in Tennessee suggests that process is hastening.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe and General Motors officials announced that the automaker will invest nearly $2 billion in its Spring Hill manufacturing plant to build fully electric vehicles, including the all-new, luxury Cadillac LYRIQ, per an October 20 joint press release from the Governor’s office and GM.

The Spring Hill plant, located about 30 miles south of Nashville, will be GM’s third electric vehicle manufacturing site, and, crucially, its first outside of the state of Michigan. In Tuesday’s announcement, Governor Lee mentioned “advanced manufacturing” in addition to the progressive importance of electric vehicle production the state is supporting. Local state reps pointed to the benefits it could have on their workforce.

“General Motors is a valued employer in Spring Hill and their commitment speaks to our favorable business climate, but also our ability to provide the highly-skilled workforce they need,” said Rep. Scott Cepicky (R-Culleoka). “I commend General Motors for their vision to lead in innovation and environmental sustainability as more people increasingly demand electric cars.”

This investment adds to the more than $2.3 billion GM has invested in the Spring Hill manufacturing plant since 2010.

It means GM’s Spring Hill paint and body shops will reportedly undergo major expansions, and general assembly will “receive comprehensive upgrades,” which are said to include new machines, conveyors, controls and tooling.

Renovation and construction will begin immediately. In addition to the LYRIQ, traditionally powered Cadillac products, including the XT6 and XT5, will continue to be built in Spring Hill.

The plant is the largest General Motors facility in North America, located on a plot of land containing a flexible vehicle assembly plant and global propulsion systems facility.

Additionally, the location seems a natural fit for an environmentally-conscious initiative; it covers 2,100 acres, with 700 of those acres dedicated to farming and an additional 100 dedicated to a wildlife habitat.

According to the Center for Automotive Research, GM’s employment in Tennessee produces a 6.8 employment multiplier—which means there are 5.8 other jobs in the Tennessee economy for every direct GM hourly and salaried job in the state.

Tennessee is home to three OEMs and more than 900 automotive suppliers. The state is ranked No. 1 in the Southeast for automotive employment, with over 120,000 Tennesseans employed by automotive establishments.

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