Maury County leaders discuss GM future - WKRN News 2

Maury County leaders discuss GM future

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SPRING HILL, Tenn.-  The assembly of the Chevrolet Traverse will end in Middle Tennessee when General Motors idles its Spring Hill plant the day before Thanksgiving.

GM is moving the operation to Lansing, Michigan, along with some of its employees, but some line workers say they will stay in Spring Hill for now.

Spring Hill Mayor Mike Dinwiddie said, "We are working with General Motors to make sure we get a new product in that plant."

For so many in Spring Hill, the hope is that happens sooner rather than later. 

The entire community sprouted around the GM factory, which came to Tennessee in the early 90's, and there is concern about the town if the plant sits empty.

County leaders are looking at ways to recruit new businesses, but are optimistic GM will bring in new automotive production.

Maury County Mayor Jim Bailey said, "The most realistic approach at this time is when the economy turns around and production of automobiles gets back to 12-million or so, theoretically GM will put another product back there. That's what we're looking for."

While Wednesday may be the last day for many GM workers, not everyone is calling it quits just yet.

Approximately 850 - 1,000 employees will continue to work at the plant building engines and other small parts.

Another 800 will have the opportunity to transfer to Michigan and some of the others will retire.  Local businesses are already feeling squeezed.

 "It's going to be an impact, that's for sure," said H.R. Howard, who owns Spring Hill Liquors. 

He recently had to cut his workforce and reduce inventory. 

Howard understands what GM workers are going through. 

He worked for the company for more than 20 years, before taking a buyout in 2006. 

During those years, he moved four times before eventually landing in Spring Hill.

"It's just rough. The move period is rough because you have to start all over again," said Howard.

He says many of his former co-workers don't necessarily want to leave Tennessee, but in this economy, they don't have much of a choice.

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