SPRING HILL, Tenn. – For the first time in a long time, General Motors is making money and laid off workers in Spring Hill hope that means work for them.
The company made nearly $900 million in the first three months of this year. The automaker is also repaying its government loans ahead of schedule and having trouble keeping up with rising demand of several of its models.
"It is good news I think, and its reason to give us hope that there's more to come," said Spring Hill Mayor Mike Dinwiddie.
GM idled its Spring Hill plant last November after the company filed for bankruptcy protection in the summer.
Production of the Chevrolet Traverse was transferred to Michigan, along with 800 employees.
About 1,000 people are still working at the plant building engines, and local leaders believe GM could be on the verge of adding more jobs.
"If sales continue to increase and the company continues to grow like we hope it will, then they'll need to expand production, and the Spring Hill plant is the plant they would expand into," said Mayor Dinwiddie.
The retooled plant is capable of producing a wide array of GM vehicles, and according to Mayor Dinwiddie, other companies have approached the state about buying it.
"Every time I hear that, it's also followed by GM doesn't want to sell the plant, so that tells me GM is holding onto that plant for a reason. They're not holding on to the six million square foot plant just to build an engine," he said.
The news is what locals like Kathy Wright have been waiting to hear.
"I think it would be very great if they [were] to reopen the plant. It would help a lot of people around here and the community," said Wright.
While there are no immediate plans to reopen the plant, the possibility is not being ruled out and the United Autoworkers and local leaders are pushing for it to happen.