Tag Archives: Motors

Another Round of Talks Over Spring Hill Plant

By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Gov. Bill Haslam’s office confirmed Thursday that the state is in talks with General Motors to expand production at the automaker’s Tennessee plant.
The state’s economic development chief, Bill Hagerty, was in Detroit to meet with GM officials, as were mayors representing communities surrounding the Spring Hill plant that stopped assembling the Chevrolet Traverse in 2009.
“We’ve been having conversations with GM and local officials,” Haslam spokesman David Smith said in an email to The Associated Press. “We’ve heard from the company that the primary factor is a question of vehicle demand increasing rather than incentives.”
More than 2,000 workers were idled at the plant south of Nashville when production of the Traverse as shifted to Michigan. But it has continued to build engines, and GM last year announced a nearly $500 million investment to manufacture the next generation of the company’s Ecotec engine at the complex.

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GM Took State’s $17 Million, Then Went Away

As General Motors teetered on the brink of collapse nearly three years ago, it was able to tap an unexpected source of cash: the state of Tennessee, reports Chas Sisk.
The automotive giant received nearly $17 million — most of it in the week after executives disclosed the cash crisis that ultimately led to a federal bailout. The grants made GM the biggest single recipient of cash for job training from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, a database obtained by The Tennessean shows.
Part of the FastTrack incentive package that helped Tennessee bring production of the Chevy Traverse to GM’s Spring Hill plant, the grants were meant to train thousands of new workers who would hold down high-paying jobs for decades. But most of those jobs are no longer in Tennessee, as GM shifted production of the Traverse to Lansing, Mich., in 2009.
The outcome of the Traverse project in Spring Hill points out that there are few certainties behind the state’s efforts to spark economic development through incentive programs. While the announcement of investments generates optimism and headlines, downturns in the economy, business decisions and other factors can later sap projects of the touted benefits.
More than $250 million in incentives have been awarded for economic development through FastTrack and related programs, according to a database of more than 3,800 transactions dating back to 1999 and released by the department last month. Of that, $78 million has gone directly to companies for job training.
GM is not the only company to receive FastTrack job training grants, only to later pull back its presence in Tennessee. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and Peterbilt Motors Co. also rank among the top 15 recipients of job training awards in that span; both have since laid off hundreds of workers.