GM plant shaped Spring Hill history

November 24, 2009

GM plant shaped Spring Hill history

Saturn put Spring Hill on the map and paved the way for it to become one of the country’s fastest-growing communities. Here’s a short recap of how it all came together:

June 1982 — General Motor’s Advanced Engineering staff first discusses new small-car project. The city’s population was 986 just two years earlier.

October 1983 — The UAW and GM’s Industrial Relations staff agree to pursue the concept, announced a month later.

July 30, 1985 —Spring Hill is selected as the site for a future manufacturing plant, not long after GM announces the addition of a new automotive operating manufacturer, Saturn Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary.

Aug. 6, 1987 — A six-member Citizen Environment Council is created to provide input on environmental concerns in Spring Hill.

February, 1988 — The Local 1853 UAW is chartered and Saturn begins recruiting the first 3,000 employees for the Spring Hill plant.

July 23, 1988 — Opening is celebrated at a new Spring Hill City Hall built with Saturn funding.

July 31, 1989 — Saturn donates 50 acres of land to the Maury County School System for a new Spring Hill High School.

July 30, 1990 — At 10:57 a.m., GM Chairman Roger B. Smith and UAW President Owen Bieber drive the first Saturn — a metallic red four-door sedan — off the final assembly line at the Spring Hill plant.

1993 — Saturn reaches an operating profit for the month of May and on Sept. 16, it produces its 500,000th car.

1994 — Saturn owners attend a Saturn "homecoming," attracting more than 44,000 people to the Spring Hill plant.

Nov. 4, 1998 — Saturn unveils a three-door coupe.

1999 — Saturn produces its two-millionth car and celebrates a second homecoming in July.

2000 — The city’s population grows to 7,115. General Motors makes a
$1 billion investment in the Spring Hill manufacturing facility. Saturn breaks ground on the Powertrain L850 building, which produces the global Ecotec engine. Saturn unveils a sports utility vehicle, the 2002 Saturn VUE.

2002 — The new ION Quad Coupe is unveiled. And after producing more than 2.7 million small sedans, coupes and wagons, the Spring Hill plant produces the last Saturn S-Series and introduces the all-new ION Sedan. The plant is awarded the most valuable pollution prevention award by the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable.

2003 — Saturn announces plans to offer a GM hybrid powertrain on Saturn VUE. The three-millionth car is made.

2004 — Spring Hill plant earns an exceptional rating in UAW/GM safety audit. A new contract with the UAW is ratified. The city’s population is 13,697.

Sept. 6, 2006 — The Hybrid VUE is launched.

2007 — $690 million is invested in Chevy Traverse readiness and new paint shop. The last ION and VUE roll off the Spring Hill line in March. The plant is decommissioned in the following months in preparation for the Traverse. The city’s population is 23,462.

2008 — Crossover utility vehicle Traverse is launched.

April — An additional
$2 billion in bailout money goes to GM, pushing the total amount of its government aid to
$15.4 billion.

June —GM picks Orion Township, Mich., over Spring Hill for production of a new small-car line.

October — Racecar legend and entrepreneur Roger Penske’s plan to buy the Saturn brand falls through.

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