Flashback Friday: Did You Know?

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Saturn has had a colorful history that's full of interesting bits of trivia. Al Clapsaddle has put together a list of some interesting facts from Saturn's early years on his website. So go ahead, peruse the list below, and test your knowledge with these Saturn 'did you know' trivia bits. If you have any good fact, send them to me and I'll add them to SaturnFans.com archives.

  • Saturn built its two millionth car, a bright red 3-door coupe, in January 1999... yes, that's 2,000,000 cars!

  • Only 1877 special edition black-top coupes were built during the 1998-99 models years. 1308 were produced in 1998; 569 were made in 1999.
  • Saturn was the first U.S. auto manufacturer to build both manual and automatic transmissions on the same assembly lines.
  • When designing the 1996 models, Saturn engineers discovered that the polymer body panels conducted road noise and other sounds from outside the car. As a fix, engineers lined the inside of the panels with Thinsulate.
  • Saturn has been equipping its cars with airplane style "flight" recorders since 1995. They allow Saturn engineers to retrieve safety data from the cars after a crash. The engineers use the information to help them design even safer cars.
  • In 1993 Saturn recycled 41,700 tons of steel/aluminum and 1,640 tons of plastic.
  • Saturn received Popular Science's "Best of What's New" award in December of 1990. Here's what they said: "Saturn, GM's best engineering effort to date at an economical small car, pays off with a sedan and coupe based off a new kind of body construction, which layers high-impact thermoplastics over a steel space frame that is impervious to rust and easily repairable. We judge it to have an unusual harmony of design and performance."
  • Saturn's manufacturing facility in Spring Hill, was the first fully integrated automobile factory in the United States. It consists of an air-conditioned foundry, engine assembly, transmission facility, and stamping, fabrication, paint, vehicle assembly, and parts distribution area.
  • Spring Hill, TN is within 600 miles of 65% of the U.S. population.
  • When building their Spring Hill manufacturing facility, Saturn designed a new way to build sewer pipelines across creeks. Similar designs have since been adopted by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.
  • Saturn Retailers demonstrated the power of profit sharing in 1993, when they gave back 1% of their margin to Saturn Corp. The unusual move raised $13 million, and helped Saturn turn its first operating profit that year.

Head on over to Al's website to read his complete list of Saturn trivia.

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