Official: GM investing $167m in Spring Hill for new midsize vehicles

Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing, Buick, GM, Earnings/Financials, UAW/Unions

General Motors' Spring Hill Assembly

General Motors has announced a large investment in its Spring Hill, Tennessee facility. The former home of Saturn production will be getting a $167 million addition to a previously announced $183 million, to cover a pair of new midsize vehicles. The investment is expected to create 1,800 jobs at the factory.

That $350 million is being divvied up for a pair of programs at Spring Hill. The first will take the bulk of the money ($223 million) and create 1,000 of the 1,800 jobs, while the other will take the remaining $127 million and generate the leftover 800 positions. But GM says the investment will cover “midsize vehicle programs.” So what could they be?

The leading candidate in our minds is a new crossover for Buick, called the Anthem, that will slot between the Encore and Enclave, but will be slightly smaller than the Equinox and Terrain. As we’ve explained, the new model will likely be the first product to sport GM’s new D2UX platform, which will eventually replace both the Delta and Theta platforms. Spring Hill is already building the Equinox, so there could be some credence to this theory.

As for the other project, well, that one is a bit more of a mystery. It seems unlikely that GM would earmark two separate funds for “midsize vehicles” only to build a pair of crossovers. Could there be a D2UX car in the works? Hopefully, we’ll find out soon.

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GM investing $167m in Spring Hill for new midsize vehicles originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 06 Aug 2013 18:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: BMW 3 Series production to end in October, next-gen model coming in spring 2012

Filed under: Convertible, Coupe, Sedan, Performance, Europe, BMW, Luxury

2011 BMW 335is

2011 BMW 335is – Click above for high-res image gallery

Production of the current E90 and E92 BMW 3 Series will come to an end for good in October, in preparation for next spring’s launch of the all-new F30 3 Series. Before the gas models bow out, the oil-burning 335d will cease production in August.

The death of the current 3er makes room for a sleeker, less cluttered version of the car which clings closely to the more aggressive new BMW design language. Among the changes will be flatter kidney grilles as well as shorter overhangs, as well as a more muscular stance.

The new 3s will also get a bump in efficiency, with a range of turbocharged four- and six-cylinder mills, with the outside chance of a three-banger joining the lineup later on. The next M3 will ditch V8 power in favor of a twin-turbo inline-six sporting about 450 horsepower.

BMW 3 Series production to end in October, next-gen model coming in spring 2012 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 31 May 2011 11:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Kia Soul Hamstar edition rolling onto dealer lots this spring

Filed under: Car Buying, Kia

Kia Soul Hamstar

SEMA 2010: Kia Soul Hamstar Edition Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Kia Soul and special editions go together like hip-hop and hamsters. That is to say, some people love them and other folks might have heard enough of this, and heard enough of that. Regardless, the Soul is getting another special edition, and this time around it’s the Hamstars that are getting the attention.

We saw the concept version of the Kia Soul Hamstar Edition at the 2010 SEMA show. Now, we’ve received confirmation from Kia that this stars and stripes-wearing Soul is coming to dealer lots in time for the 2011 spring season. Stripes run up the doors and on to the fenders while a star Hamstar logo sits on the hood and rear hatch. The Soul Hamstar will get a unique wheel package, and the inside will feature more Hamstar logos throughout. No word yet on pricing… but it’s safe to assume it will cost you a little bit of this, and a little bit of that. Sorry.

Kia Soul Hamstar edition rolling onto dealer lots this spring originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 06 May 2011 15:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2012 Fiat 500 Cabrio released in U.S. “just in time for spring”

Filed under: Convertible, Chrysler, Fiat

2012 Fiat 500 Cabrio

2012 Fiat 500 Cabrio – Click above for high-res image gallery

Good news, lovers of open-air motoring: Fiat has just announced that its diminutive little 500 Cabrio will be hitting the U.S. market “just in time for spring” as a 2012 model. That’s a little nebulous, mind you, as the announcement doesn’t specifically say when we should expect the droptop 500c to actually hit a dealership near you.

In any case, the North American 500 Cabrio mimics its European cousin with an electrically powered fabric roof that can be opened while driving at any speed up to 60 miles per hour. Unlike most convertibles, the 500 Cabrio keeps its fully-framed side windows, as the top slides back and forth on roof rails instead of folding down into a pile at the rear of the car.

Fiat will offer the 500 Cabrio with three different soft top colors, 14 exterior colors and 12 combinations of interior colors and fabrics. Customization is a good thing, no? We’ll get our first live impressions of the 500c at the New York Auto Show next week. Hit the jump for the official press release and be sure to check out some fun-in-the-sun motoring in our high-res image gallery below.

Gallery: 2012 Fiat 500c

2012 Fiat 500c2012 Fiat 500c2012 Fiat 500c

[Source: Fiat]

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2012 Fiat 500 Cabrio released in U.S. “just in time for spring” originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 14 Apr 2011 12:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chrysler debuts S-Concept 300 models at Spring Festival of LXs [w/video]

Filed under: Sedan, Videos, Chrysler, Design/Style

Chrysler 300 S-Concept

Chrysler at Spring Festival of LXs – Click above to watch the video after the jump

Chrysler has a hardcore group of owners who have taken their Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Challenger models to the next level of aftermarket bliss. For those Mopar super fans, Chrysler throws a little party called the Spring Festival of LXs. The event draws owners from all over eager to show off their customized rides, and this year, Team Pentastar had a little something special for those in attendance.

Chrysler unveiled the 300 S-Concept models, modded versions of its already hot-looking 2011 Chrysler 300. In the case of the featured video car, the big rear-drive Chrysler receives updates ranging from bigger, more audacious wheels, body-color moldings and an a new grille that looks like the outline of a brick wall. The interior has also received some custom touches, including a sea of red leather just about everywhere one’s body touches, along with an italic ‘S’ on each throne. Hit the jump to watch video of the unveiling, and be sure to click the gallery below for images of the 300 S-Concept at the event.

Gallery: Chrysler 300 S Concept

Chrysler 300 S Concept

[Source: Chrysler]

Continue reading Chrysler debuts S-Concept 300 models at Spring Festival of LXs [w/video]

Chrysler debuts S-Concept 300 models at Spring Festival of LXs [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 30 Mar 2011 16:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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OnStar goes aftermarket, coming to Best Buy in spring

Filed under: Aftermarket, CES, Technology, GM

OnStar Mirror

General Motors’ OnStar division has been nothing short of a major success story over its 16 years of operation. But if there’s one major problem that has historically stood in the way of it becoming an automotive technology juggernaut, it’s that OnStar has always been limited to just GM vehicles. Until now.

Coming to a Best Buy near you in the spring of 2011 will be a complete standalone OnStar package housed in one aftermarket mirror. For $299 (plus an estimated $75-$100 for installation and a service plan starting at $18.95 a month or $199 a year), you’ll get the whole suite of features offered by OnStar, including:

  • Automatic Crash Response
  • Link to Emergency Services
  • Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance
  • Turn-by-Turn Navigation
  • Roadside Assistance
  • Hands-Free Calling

This standalone system includes everything needed to get your non-GM (or non-OnStar-equipped older GM) car or truck hooked up to the OnStar network. Installation involves removing the old rear-view mirror, installing the new one and running a power line – which supposedly takes less than an hour and will be handled by trained technicians from Best Buy, though other retail locations seem likely in the future. Full details can be found in the press release after the break.

[Source: OnStar]

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OnStar goes aftermarket, coming to Best Buy in spring originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 04 Jan 2011 22:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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General Motors invests $483 million in Spring Hill facility, rehires 483 workers

Filed under: Technology, GM, Earnings/Financials

GM Ecotec engineGeneral Motors has announced that it will invest a total of $483 million in its Spring Hill, Tennessee powertrain facility by 2012. The news comes as GM continues to move toward building more fuel-efficient engines. The automaker says that the next-generation Ecotec four-cylinder engine, complete with direct-injection, will be built in the Spring Hill plant. Those funds will also go toward bringing back a total of 483 workers that have been idle since last year.

In 2009, the company laid off 2,000 workers at the Spring Hill facility as part of its restructuring efforts, though 800 of those individuals relocated to other GM plants around the country. Even so, that didn’t do much for the economy in Maury County, Tennessee. According to the Associated Press, the locality has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state – 14.5 percent in July.

Until now, the future of the Spring Hill plant had been more than a little uncertain. The facility was originally designed to produce Saturn vehicles, but was reworked to produce the Chevrolet Traverse to the tune of $600 million. GM then pulled Traverse from the plant last year.

[Sources: Associated Press via Google, General Motors]

General Motors invests $483 million in Spring Hill facility, rehires 483 workers originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 17 Sep 2010 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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