The General Motors auto factory in Spring Hill in Middle Tennessee is one of 14 scheduled to be idled in another blow to the Tennessee economy.
Spring Hill was home of the Saturn, “a different kind of car from a different kind of car company,” from the time production began in 1990 until 2007. GM began making the Chevy Traverse crossover vehicle at Spring Hill, but announced Monday that the factory will be shut down but could possibly reopen later.
The Spring Hill car factory was a major contributor to the economy and image of Middle Tennessee as a booming area, sometimes at the expense of Memphis as in the case of the Houston Oilers and National Football League’s selection of Nashville for a franchise.
About 2,500 people work at the Spring Hill plant, which employed 5,000 at its peak.
GM declared bankruptcy on Monday. It will permanently close eleven factories, shut down three more but leave them on standby, and end its contracts with 2,100 dealers. The Detroit Free Press has a story.
“I’m obviously very disappointed in the decision by GM officials and the administration to idle our Spring Hill plant but glad it’s idled for a period and not closed and certainly happy for the 600 Tennesseans that will remain employed,” said U.S. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee.
“Tennessee is one of the best places in America to build cars, and Spring Hill is one of the most modern, adaptable plants in the country, so we remain hopeful that Spring Hill might be chosen to house GM’s new subcompact facility or will move back into production if the economy improves.”