Exclusive: GM plans to move some Chevy Equinox assembly to Mexico -source

Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:18pm EDT
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By Bernie Woodall and Paul Lienert

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co and the United Auto Workers on Wednesday trumpeted the news that production of the Cadillac SRX would be shifted from Mexico to Tennessee, but Reuters has learned that GM also plans to move some other assembly work in the opposite direction.

The company plans to shift some production of the Chevrolet Equinox from Spring Hill, Tennessee, to Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, when the crossover vehicle is redesigned in 2017, according to an industry source familiar with GM’s plans. That move could partially offset any new jobs created by the shift of SRX work from Ramos Arizpe to Spring Hill, which is expected in mid-2016, the source said.

Both GM and the UAW declined to comment on whether the Equinox work would move to Mexico.

As for how many jobs the addition of the SRX at Spring Hill would create, based on current and projected figures provided by GM, Reuters estimates the move could add about 200 jobs at the plant. A GM spokesman said it would be “fair to say” there would be a net increase but declined to be specific.

Earlier in the day, UAW President Dennis Williams said in a statement that the shift of Cadillac production from Mexico to the United States was "a big victory" for the union. The UAW declined to say how many jobs would be added in Spring Hill.

GM told Reuters on Wednesday that the current SRX will continue to be assembled in Mexico for an unspecified period of time after the new SRX begins production in Spring Hill.

GM said a year ago it planned to invest $350 million in the Spring Hill plant, which was built originally for GM's now-defunct Saturn brand. At the time, GM said the Spring Hill plant would be retooled to build two new midsize crossover vehicles.

In addition to the new SRX, the plant is expected to build a replacement for the GMC Acadia, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.   Continued...

The General Motors logo is seen outside its headquarters at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan in this file photograph taken August 25, 2009. REUTERS/Jeff Kowalsky/Files