PHOTO: The new Cadillac XT6 being driven up to the stage during its unveiling Thursday in Spring Hill./ / Photo by Alexander Willis
By ALEXANDER WILLIS
General Motors officially unveiled the new Cadillac XT6 Thursday during a reveal celebration at the General Motors plant in Spring Hill, where CEO of the company Mary Barra announced an additional $22 million investment into the plant for 2019.
Around 800 plant workers, media members and area residents gathered around a stage within the plant, all waiting to see the new vehicle in action.
“Today we are announcing we will be investing an additional $22 million in Spring Hill assembly in 2019,” Barra said. “This investment will enable the team here to continue building the award-winning V8 engines as we improve them with advanced technology, called dynamic fuel management.”
This announcement comes just days after the first announcement that the Cadillac XT6 would be manufactured in Spring Hill, which also included an investment of $300 million, as well as the hiring of hundreds of workers.
“General Motors has been well established in Tennessee for nearly three decades,” Barra continued. “Currently, we have about 3,800 employees at Spring Hill, and this point will reign among North America’s most productive facilities, as we have just added a third shift. We have invested $2 billion in Spring Hill since 2010 to build Crossovers and SUVs, retaining 1,900 jobs, and that was also represented by the $300 million investment alone to build the XT6.”
Gov. Bill Lee was also in attendance, saying this was “a very important day for Spring Hill,” and spoke to the dedication of the city’s community and workforce.
“I want to say thank you to the men and women who create the products right here in this plant, you are the reason that a company like General Motors is continuing to invest in Tennessee,” Lee said. “[It’s] because of the products that you make, and because of the work ethic that you have, and because of the workforce that we uniquely have right here in Tennessee, and particularly right here in Spring Hill.”
Lee was born and raised in Fernvale, a small community in Williamson County just a few dozen miles north of Spring Hill. Lee said he remembered the day the General Motors plant moved to Spring Hill, and that he saw its economic transformative powers unfold as the years went by.
“I grew up just up the road, and I remember the day that the announcement came that General Motors was going to build a plant here,” Lee said. “For any of you who lived here back in those days, you know that this has transformed the economy in this region. Not only did it produce the 3,500 jobs that we see here today, but the thousands of jobs that have been created by supplier organizations, and the other economic impact that it brings to our state.”
Following Lee’s comments, Spring Hill Mayor Rick Graham took the stage, praising the members of the local chapter of the United Automobile Workers (UAW) as the best “in the entire world.”
“We have the best automobile plant workforce with UAW 1853 – not in the United States, but in the entire world,” Graham said. “Their frequency of investment and job increase announcements, the high number of different vehicles and engines manufactured here, the number of GM vendors located here… this is one of the reasons Spring Hill was recently announced, for the second straight year, for being the fifth-best place to live in Tennessee.”
Toward the end of the event, headlights hit the crowd from across the facility, and the Cadillac XT6 was driven up in front of the stage.
“It’s a great day for Spring Hill, it means a lot to the team members here,” said Mike Herron, chairman of the local UAW. “This is a significant investment in the United States, it’s a significant investment in Spring Hill, Tennessee. You can see all the team members here whose livelihoods are held in the balance, so this is good, it’s job security.”