Spring Hill now aims fight at new car - WKRN News 2

Spring Hill now aims fight at new car

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SPRING HILL, Tenn. - Around 9 p.m. Friday, the assembly line will go dark at the General Motors plant in Spring Hill.

The shutdown, intended to keep production from overbuilding units of the Chevy Traverse, is supposed to last five weeks.

GM workers told News 2 Friday afternoon that they were being told the shutdown will last two weeks longer than first expected, until July 27.

In November, GM plans to put the Spring Hill plant on standby.  No decision has been made past that, putting more than 2,500 jobs on the line.

Area decision makers gathered in Columbia Friday morning to formulate a game plan to save the plant by campaigning for a new GM small car.

"We want to do everything in our power to try to persuade the powers that be to locate the new automobile at GM Spring Hill," said Maury County Mayor Jim Bailey.  "We want to make sure we get that car.  That's priority number one."

GM announced it will build a small car at one of the assembly plants put on standby earlier this week.

Spring Hill is in competition with two other assembly plants for that product line.

"This, as much as anything today was, we've taken the deep breathes and now it's time to put our fighting faces on and go win this plant," said Jan McKeel, director of the Central Tennessee Workforce Alliance.

Nearly 100 city, county and state leaders attended Friday's meeting.

One of the things discussed was not only how to convince the decision makers to locate the plant in Spring Hill, but who exactly the decision makers are now that GM is in bankruptcy.

Who to Wow

"Some folks in the Obama administration is who we need to wow, since the government owns 62% of the company, we need to make sure we're wowing those folks," said Senator Bill Ketron.  "We need to remind them that the reason they located the plant here in the first place are still good reasons for the plant to be here today."

Time may be short.  McKeel said she's been told the bankruptcy is going through quickly.

"I think what you'll see is things from this meeting sooner rather than later, because we understand the time frame may be a tight one," she said.

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