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Tennessee to get 3rd electric vehicle plant

General Motors is expected to reveal that it will build the Cadillac Lyriq electric SUV at its factory in Spring Hill, Tennessee, when it makes a major manufacturing announcement on Tuesday.

The Detroit News reported on Friday that the Lyriq would be built at Spring Hill, bringing a third major electric vehicle production plant to Tennessee. Nissan makes its battery-powered Leaf in Smyrna, and Volkswagen is building an $800 million expansion of its Chattanooga assembly plant to make the all-electric ID.4 SUV by 2022.

The consulting firm LMC Automotive predicted that the Lyriq, the company's first electric SUV, will be built in Spring Hill. That means Spring Hill is likely to be the company's third electric vehicle factory. LMC Senior Vice President Jeff Schuster said he expects GM to build other electric vehicles at Spring Hill as well.

GM already has announced that EVs will be built at its plant in Orion Township, Michigan, and at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant, which straddles the border between the city of Detroit and the hamlet of Hamtramck.

Currently the 7.9-million-square-foot Spring Hill facility employs about 3,400 hourly workers who make the Cadillac XT5 and XT6 gas-powered SUVs as well as the GMC and Holden Acadia SUVs. The complex, which is GM's biggest in North America, also makes four engines that go into GM trucks and SUVs.

 

State Chamber adds health insurance plan

The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry announced a new collaboration Monday with Aetna, a CVS Health company, and the Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network (VHAN) to offer small businesses access to one of Aetna's self-funded health plans at a significant discount.

The plan, known as TN Chambers Health, offers businesses with two to 100 full-time eligible employees an average annual discount of $144 per employee, according to Bradley Jackson, president of the Tennessee Chamber.

"We frequently hear what a challenge affordable health coverage is for small business," Jackson said. "This plan is a great opportunity for both chambers of commerce across our great state and their business members to obtain quality healthcare coverage and receive a sizeable discount for being a chamber of commerce member."

Association health plans like that being offered by the state Chamber allow smaller companies, as well as self-employed persons, to access health insurance associated with large group medical coverage by pooling together businesses to broaden the number of persons covered and spread the insurance risk.

The Aetna Funding Advantage also plan offers digital enrollment and a benefit administration platform, Attain by AetnaSM app, and free fitness classes through Peerfit to help limit costs. When a claim is lower than expected, Aetna said the business has the potential to get that money back

Qualifying chamber employers may contact their insurance broker for a quote or visit www.discoveraetna.com/afa.

The Tennessee Chamber last offered an insurance option for its members more than a decade ago when it had a workers compensation insurance option, Jackson said.

 

Ford recalls vans and Escape SUVs

Ford Motor Co. warned Monday that certain 2019-2020 Ford Transit Connect vans have an engine flaw that could create fire risk while certain 2020 Ford Escape SUVs have tire pressure monitoring flaws that could lead to loss of control.

Both vehicles are the subject of recalls, along with the high-performance of the Mustang Shelby GT350 and Mustang Shelby GT500 for its light system.

The company said it is unaware of any accident or injury related to these situations.

Certain Transit Connect vehicles with the 2.5L engine have a software calibration issue that fails to keep the engine adequately cooled. When the engine temperature exceeds "critical limits," it may damage the engine and increase the fire risk. The recall involves 3,487 vans in the U.S., its federal territories and Canada.

A failing tire pressure monitoring system in the 2020 Ford Escape may not warn drivers of low pressure in rear tires, which could affect vehicle control and increase crash risk. The recall affects 708 vehicles in the U.S. and Canada, all built at the Louisville Assembly Plant from June 26 to Aug. 14, 2020. Dealers need to replace the body control module.

 

IBM revenues drop for 3rd straight quarter

International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) on Monday reported a third consecutive quarter of declining revenue.

The technology and consulting company posted revenue of $17.56 billion in the period, which fell short of Street forecasts. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $17.61 billion.

IBM reported third-quarter earnings of $1.7 billion, or $1.89 per share. Earnings, adjusted for costs related to mergers and acquisitions and non-recurring costs, were $2.58 per share.

The results surpassed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $2.55 per share.

The company also announced it is spinning out part of its Global Technology Services into a new company.

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