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General Motors said Thursday it will invest $22 million in its Spring Hill manufacturing complex in Tennessee to build high-tech, fuel-saving V-8 engines.
The announcement follows a $300 million investment at Spring Hill to make the Cadillac XT6, a three-row sport utility vehicle unveiled at the Detroit auto show in mid-January. The automaker said it has sunk $2 billion into the plant since 2010.
It also comes months after the largest U.S. automaker said it will cut up to 14,000 jobs in North America as it realigns its product portfolio away from slow-selling sedans. No new jobs at Spring Hill will be added as a result of the engine investment, said GM spokesman Dan Flores, but the XT6 project will add more than 200 jobs there.
The engines make their way into a variety of full-size vehicles GM makes, notably the GMC Sierra 1500 pickup and the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup truck. They are equipped with a technology that turns different cylinders on and off in the engine depending on the driver's needs. The engine can run all eight cylinders when power is needed for acceleration or towing, but can reduce the number of cylinders operating when not needed to save on fuel. The engines can be operated the eight cylinders in an array of 17 different patterns, depending on what is needed.
Spring Hill currently builds both four- and eight-cylinder engines and assembles an array of vehicles. In addition to the XT6, GM also makes GMC Acadia SUV, the Cadillac XT5 mid-size SUV and the Holden Acadia, an SUV made for export. The plant employs about 3,800 total workers.
"We in the UAW will continue to encourage and support GM investing in their U.S.A. plants like Spring Hill, Tennessee and around the country," said Terry Dittes, United Auto Workers union Vice President and Director of the GM Department, in a statement. "Building product where you sell is good for our members, their families, the communities and all of America".