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GM Doubling Investment in Once-Abandoned Plant

Spring Hill plant originally served as home to Saturn.

by on Aug.06, 2013

A new lease on life for the Spring Hill plant.

What was once one of General Motors’ most promising assembly plants – only to face abandonment as the maker plunged into bankruptcy – is getting a new lease on life.

GM will nearly double the planned investment in its Spring Hill, Tennessee assembly plant, adding $167 million to a previous package of $183 million. That will bring two separate vehicle programs to the factory, originally put up as part of the once-promising Saturn project. In all, the total, $350 million in spending should create or retain about 1,800 jobs, according to the Detroit maker.

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“Today’s announcement recognizes the commitment of Spring Hill employees and leadership,” said Mark Reuss, president, GM North America. “As a team, they draw upon the plant’s unique heritage and dedicated work force to deliver top quality for our customers.”

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Ford Earnings Hint at Loss of Momentum

Net income up but operating profit fell for the fourth quarter.

by on Jan.27, 2012

Ford CEO Alan Mulally and Chairman Bill Ford.

Ford Motor Co.’s comeback slowed in the fourth quarter as a 21% decline in core automotive business drove down operating profits at a time when the overall U.S. auto industry was showing signs of renewed strength.

For the full year, the second largest of the Detroit automakers reported a pre-tax operating profit of $8.8 billion, an increase of $463 million from a year ago, as strong performances in North America and Ford Credit offset challenges in other parts of the world, the company said.  This marks the company’s third year in a row of improving annual operating profits.

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“We delivered strong results for the full year as we continued to serve our customers around the world with best-in-class vehicles and made progress toward our mid-decade goals,” said Alan Mulally, Ford president and CEO. “Despite the continued uncertainty in the external environment, the strength of our North American and Ford Credit operations allows us to continue to invest for future growth and develop outstanding products with segment-leading quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and value,” he said.

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December Sales Put A Warm Touch on a Cold Year

Automakers wrap up worst year since 1970.

by on Jan.06, 2010

Counting retail sales alone, Toyota was America's number one brand in 2009. The Asian maker hopes to keep that momentum going with products like the newly-remade Sienna minivan.

Sales of new cars and trucks weren’t exactly booming during December but the adjusted annual sales rate was still strong enough to suggest that sales finally bottomed out as the U.S. auto industry wrapped up its worst year in nearly four decades.

Carmakers pegged the estimated sales rate at 11.4 million units, which is still well below the sales levels that prevailed before the recession gripped the industry in 2008, but substantially better than what the industry suffered through for most of the past year.

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For all of 2009,  sales totaled approximately 10.4 million units, which was only slightly better than the expectation in early 2009 when carmakers were talking about sales in the sub-10 million-unit range – and may reflect the brief, mid-year boost the market got from the so-called Cash for Clunkers program.

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