General Motors is adding a second production shift at its Spring Hill site in Tennessee to increase production of four-cylinder Ecotec engines. According to GM spokeswoman Kristy Bergstrom, the move will allow the carmaker to cater to the increased demand for its 2.5-liter Ecotec engine, which is used to power the Chevrolet Malibu and Impala sedans.
The Spring Hill plant also produces a turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder and a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine. The 2-liter engine powers the Buick Regal and Verano while the 2.4-liter powers the Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Equinox. Bergstrom disclosed that the addition of second shift at the plant will occur in phases throughout 2014.
She said that job openings will be filled by current Spring Hill complex employees with additional jobs to be filled with external candidates through a "pre-populated applicant pool over the course of 2014." The Spring Hill manufacturing site boasts of a 1,868-strong workforce, wherein 1,577 hourly employees are represented by UAW Local 1853.
Assembly operations at the complex stopped in 2009 as part of GM's restructuring but were revived in September 2012 when it commenced output of the Equinox crossover. Aside from engine and assembly plants, the Spring Hill site also supports stamping and component operations. GM announced in August its plans to invest $167 million in the site to build two future mid-sized vehicle programs.
The new Chevrolet Malibu’s exterior design has DNA from its related vehicles, the Camaro and Corvette, to bring an athletic practicality to the family sedan sector.
A broader stance, wide shoulders, and a cohesive spoiler bring a new sportiness to the Malibu and provide it a stronger look. The new Malibu has a 4.5” (114 mm) shortened wheelbase and a 62” (1,574 mm) front and rear tracks that are over 2” (51 mm) broader than its predecessor.
Other exterior design touches include Chevy's twin-port grille, projector HID headlights, larger Chevy bow-tie emblems front and back, and new Camaro-like LED twin-element tail lights. The look is completed with a choice of large 17-, 18- and 19-inch wheels.
The new Malibu’s exterior is expected to be SAE-certified as among the most aerodynamically effective cars in the group, with a drag coefficient (Cd) rating near the Volt's .280 Cd. Due to Malibu's new form and style, engineers could remove 60 counts of wind drag over its predecessor.
The Malibu also has electronic and incorporated active air shutters (select North American markets) to enhance streamlining and fuel use without compromising the exterior’s design.