GM Expands Tennessee Factory

General Motors plans to spend $167 million in production capacity upgrades for its Nashville, Tenn. factory, the Associated Press reported.

The investment is in addition to a previously announced $183 million worth of upgrades planned for the facility, which was idled amid the economic downturn in 2009, AP said. The plant was reopened following a 2011 contract agreement with the United Auto Workers that included salary concessions for entry-level workers.

The new spending is expected to create or keep 1,800 jobs, but GM did not comment on how many new workers would be hired, AP said.

While the company also wouldn’t identify the new vehicles that would be built there, the facility currently produces the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain crossover SUVs. These vehicles were last updated in 2009, AP said.

The plant produced more than 3.7 million Saturn cars between 1990 and 2007. Most of the facility’s workers were then furloughed while the plant underwent a $600 million overhaul to build the build the Chevrolet Traverse crossover.

At its peak, the facility employed nearly 8,000 workers. By 2009, that number was down to about 630. The plant, which also makes four-cylinder engines, currently employs 2,000 people, AP said.

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