A study commissioned by the United Auto Workers says Nissan's plant in Canton, Miss., may end up getting subsidies and incentives worth $1.3 billion over 30 years, some four times the original estimate. The plant, which will soon produce eight models, opened its doors a decade ago and now employs about 5,000 people. UAW officials have been pushing hard in recent years to organize some of those workers.
Both the original public accounting of Nissan's incentive package and the latest calculations by the UAW are open to some interpretation. The actual dollar figures are determined by the plant's employment levels, investment outlays by Nissan, vehicle production, property values, worker training needs and supplier activity -- all of which change over time.
The Tennessee Valley Authority and Nashville Electric Service have cut a $350,000 check to Bridgestone Americas as a reward for the energy efficiency improvements the tire maker has made in recent years at its La Vergne plant. An improved lighting system installed in 2010 has cut power consumption by 3.8 million kilowatt-hours. The cash will go into the Bridgestone Americas Environmental and Energy Strategic Fund to be applied to other conservation projects.
LKQ Corp. is planning to break ground in the next 30 to 45 days on an approximately $3 million self-serve facility in Nashville.
Construction will require at least four months, according to a LKQ spokeswoman. The company, which is based in Chicago and has its main local operations in La Vergne, is in the process of selecting a general contractor for the project, the spokeswoman said.
LKQ provides aftermarket, recycled and refurbished collision replacement and mechanical replacement parts, including remanufactured engines, for vehicles. It has operations in the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico and Central America, and operates more than 480 facilities, including 10 in Tennessee.
Relatedly, LKQ will hold a dedication ceremony for the Leonard “Lenny” A. Damron LKQ Leadership Institute on Thursday, May 9, at 11 a.m. at Shwab Elementary School, located at 1500 Dickerson Road. On Saturday, May 11, LKQ will participate with Shwab Elementary in a half-day Leadership Academy for the students.
General Motors will lay off up to 75 employees at its Spring Hill plant due to slowing market demand. Duane Marsteller and The Tennessean have the story here. Word of the move comes less than a week after Volkswagen said it will cut 500 contract employees because of slackness in sedan sales.
Nissan has donated six of its Leaf electric cars to New York for a pilot taxi program. One big question the city and the Leaf drivers will look to answer: How do you accommodate an electric car's charging needs related to a taxicab's full day of work?
Nissan executives say they will hike the pay for production employees and maintenance technicians at the company's plants in Smyrna, Decherd and Canton, Miss. The bump, which will come this October, will add 55 cents per hour for line workers and 65 cents per hour for maintenance techs. It's the first hike for them since 2006.