(This story has been updated for clarity.)
General Motors plans to invest $22 million at its plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee plant to build its newest fuel-efficient engines.
Additionally, GM will add more than 200 jobs at the plant to make its new three-row Cadillac crossover, the XT6. The new crossover is expected to hit showrooms in late spring.
The plant employs about 3,800 people.
The company has spent nearly $2 billion at the facility, which was the former Saturn plant, since 2010. The automaker spent $300 million to outfit the plant for that new XT6. GM also builds the Cadillac XT5, GMC Acadia and Holden Acadia at Spring Hill.
(Cadillac reshapes line-up with new XT6 crossover. Click Here for the story.)
GM’s Dynamic Fuel Management technology is the industry’s first cylinder deactivation technology, which enables the engines to operate in 17 different cylinder patterns to optimize performance. DFM enables only the cylinders needed to deliver the power a customer wants, the company noted.
The 6.2-liter V8 is used in the company’s large trucks, such as the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.
The investment comes as the automaker announced plans to close five plants in the U.S. and Canada at the end of last year. The plants were largely responsible for manufacturing cars, which GM is slowly phasing out of its product portfolio to meet the preferences of the buying public.
Industry wide, customers are increasingly purchasing crossovers, trucks and SUVs over sedans. Crossovers make up nearly half of the U.S. retail market (48.5%), according to GM.
(Click Here for a review of the Cadillac XT4.)
The Spring Hill plant has become the de facto home of GM’s larger crossover vehicles. Last September, the company reinstated its third shift, putting 700 employees back to work at the facility.
Crossovers were booming for GM too in 2018 as the company sold 1,034,808 in 2018, up 7% versus 2017. The company had five models that enjoyed record results last year:
- GMC Terrain up 34%
- Chevrolet Traverse up 19%
- Chevrolet Equinox up 15%
- Chevrolet Trax up 13
- Buick Encore up 6 percent
The first-ever Cadillac XT4 became the best-selling vehicle in its segment just two months after launch. Cadillac will be introducing all-new models every six months, on average, through the end of 2021.
(Light trucks continue to gain traction as sedans, coupes fade. Click Here for a look at January’s U.S. sales numbers.)
Total sales of the Cadillac XT5 were up 10% in the first quarter 2018. XT5 is Cadillac’s best-selling vehicle in every market where it’s sold around the world, according to GM, which noted it is the second-best-selling vehicle in its class in the U.S.