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Old 12-11-2006, 10:47 PM   #1
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Happy Spring Hill avoids the axe – but what’s new?

Snip from CarConnection.com...

GM Investing in Saturn Plant
Spring Hill avoids the axe – but what’s new?
by Joseph Szczesny (2006-12-11)


General Motors announced Monday it will sink $225 million into the company's assembly plant inSpring Hill, Tennessee.

Production of the Saturn Ion and Saturn Vue, which are now made at the plant outside Nashville, is now scheduled to end in March, said GM spokesman Dan Flores.

"The plant will be closed for several months," added Flores, who declined to say when the Spring Hill site will be ready to build vehicles for GM. "At this point, the actual plan for the plant is still being developed. However, we did want to show that it was our intention to continue building vehicles in Spring Hill."

Last month, GM's board of directors, after a review of market trends, decided to kill plans for a new minivan that was supposed to be built in Spring Hill once production of both the Ion and Vue had ended next year. The decision to kill the minivan project left the Spring Hill plant without a future product, raising the possibility that GM could close the plant permanently in 2008 once GM re-negotiated its contract with the United Auto Workers.

GM officials, however, insisted that while Spring Hill might not necessarily build a Saturn vehicle, it will continue to build GM vehicles in the future. The Saturn Astra, which is replacing the Ion, will be built in Europe and the 2008 Saturn Vue will be built in Mexico .

Flores said he could not say which kind of vehicle is slated for future production. Chances are, however, that it will be a small passenger car or tall wagon that could replace the minivan, according to hints from GM's designers and executives.

Flores said the new investment is contingent on a tax break from the state of Tennessee . However, officials from Tennessee 's state government have indicated that the aid will be forthcoming. The UAW also indicated it is prepared to negotiate a less restrictive local contract with GM in return for new work.

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Old 12-11-2006, 11:46 PM   #2
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Default Re: Spring Hill avoids the axe – but what’s new?

“Spring Hill avoids the axe – but what’s new?”

I guess nothing; this is just one in a series of events in a time line that was expected. No one ever really thought Spring Hill would close its doors, I just had to improve it competitive position before the company would make such a huge commitment to it and all those things are being done or are in the process of being done. A lot of what you all read on the future of SH was just posturing by one side or the other to try to gain an advantage in negotiations. Look for an announcement soon on more renovation projects and the new model announcement after the first of the year.

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Old 12-12-2006, 10:51 AM   #3
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Default Re: Spring Hill avoids the axe – but what’s new?

I love that:"the UAW is prepared to negotiate a less restrictive local contract...." That's what they had when Spring Hill began .
GM was never going to junk this plant anyway.Retool it maybe, but shut it down, no.
You are so right Red96.

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Old 12-12-2006, 11:00 AM   #4
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Default Re: Spring Hill avoids the axe – but what’s new?

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I love that:"the UAW is prepared to negotiate a less restrictive local contract...." That's what they had when Spring Hill began .
GM was never going to junk this plant anyway.Retool it maybe, but shut it down, no.
You are so right Red96.

Gotta agree, but the part about a "less restrictive contract"?....wow, lol......very funny! Glad to hear GM is not giving up on Spring Hill. Though I don't have a preference for where my car is made, when it comes to Saturn, the heart is still in Spring Hill. Happy to hear they did not pull the plug completely.

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Old 12-12-2006, 11:21 AM   #5
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Default Re: Spring Hill avoids the axe – but what’s new?

The Astra or something like it may end up in SH. I think GM is waiting to see what demand is for the Astra before building it here. If demand and sales are high, building in the US will increase profit. If demand is low then GM wouldn't want to waste time and money retooling the plant for a poor selling car.
The Astra will be an upper tier compact like the Mazda 3. Much more expensive than the Cobalt. It will be interesting to see if people go for it.
Other than the Astra, the only cars I see GM building there are the Holden based RWD models.

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Old 12-12-2006, 02:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: Spring Hill avoids the axe – but what’s new?

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Other than the Astra, the only cars I see GM building there are the Holden based RWD models.
AFAIK, all the Zeta cars confirmed for the US, (Camaro and Impala, so far), are going to be built at Oshawa.

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Old 12-12-2006, 03:14 PM   #7
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Default Re: Spring Hill avoids the axe – but what’s new?

I think they may build rwd cars too. Yes, the Ontario plant has been announced, but that plant may not have the capacity to build all rwd cars. Plus, Lutz said that one Zeta car will be built in the U.S.

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Old 12-12-2006, 04:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: Spring Hill avoids the axe – but what’s new?

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I think they may build rwd cars too. Yes, the Ontario plant has been announced, but that plant may not have the capacity to build all rwd cars. Plus, Lutz said that one Zeta car will be built in the U.S.
The capacity is there. Camaro and Impala to be built there.

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Old 12-12-2006, 05:02 PM   #9
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Default Re: Spring Hill avoids the axe – but what’s new?

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsky View Post
The Astra or something like it may end up in SH. I think GM is waiting to see what demand is for the Astra before building it here. If demand and sales are high, building in the US will increase profit. If demand is low then GM wouldn't want to waste time and money retooling the plant for a poor selling car.
The Astra will be an upper tier compact like the Mazda 3. Much more expensive than the Cobalt. It will be interesting to see if people go for it.
Other than the Astra, the only cars I see GM building there are the Holden based RWD models.
I hope the Astra outperforms the Civic and Corolla and can be a class leader. It would be great to have this car built in Spring Hill. To finish what they never could succeed with the S-series and ION's. I agree GM is going to wait to see if there's sufficient demand to produce them in the US.

I'm glad to see the Cobalt is #9 in US sales. Just 75k units behind the Civic for the first 9 months of 2006.

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Old 12-12-2006, 05:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: Spring Hill avoids the axe – but what’s new?

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I'm glad to see the Cobalt is #9 in US sales. Just 75k units behind the Civic for the first 9 months of 2006.
Perhaps if you add ION and Pontiac G5 sales to Cobalt and HHR, Civic sales don't seem so lofty.

By the way there is a good possibility that Spring Hill will be building trucks!!http://www.cheersandgears.com/forums...t=20&p=226854&

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Old 12-12-2006, 05:41 PM   #11
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Default Re: Spring Hill avoids the axe – but what’s new?

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Originally Posted by BobbyP View Post
I hope the Astra outperforms the Civic and Corolla and can be a class leader. It would be great to have this car built in Spring Hill. To finish what they never could succeed with the S-series and ION's. I agree GM is going to wait to see if there's sufficient demand to produce them in the US.

I'm glad to see the Cobalt is #9 in US sales. Just 75k units behind the Civic for the first 9 months of 2006.
I think the price will be too high for the Astra to be a sales leader but maybe it will do well and be a critical darling like the Mazda 3.

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Old 12-12-2006, 06:01 PM   #12
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Default Re: Spring Hill avoids the axe – but what’s new?

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Perhaps if you add ION and Pontiac G5 sales to Cobalt and HHR, Civic sales don't seem so lofty.

By the way there is a good possibility that Spring Hill will be building trucks!!http://www.cheersandgears.com/forums...t=20&p=226854&
I wouldn't add the HHR as it's a very different vehicle and likely has different customers. The Cobalt/ G5/ION has sold about 300K so far this year.
I hope GM doesn't get fooled by the Ridgeline. The only reason that anybody buys the Ridge is because it's a Honda. Nobody would buy one from GM.
Cars I'd like to see from GM and SH
Corsa
Astra- with wagon, sedan and twin top versions
A small RWD van based on the GMT 355 platform (new Astro)
Vectra wagon
A large sedan for Saturn, likely FWD to compete with Avalon and Azera

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Old 12-12-2006, 08:43 PM   #13
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Default Re: Spring Hill avoids the axe – but what’s new?

Anything is possible for Spring Hill to build if it’s added to the Lambda platform.
But I wouldn’t expect SH to build on 2 different platforms.
A Lamdba truck I thought that project was also shelved.

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Old 12-12-2006, 09:46 PM   #14
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Default Re: Spring Hill avoids the axe – but what’s new?

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I wouldn't add the HHR as it's a very different vehicle and likely has different customers.

Toyota counts Matrix sales in with corolla sales. I think the HHR is no more different than its other delta siblings than is the Corolla and Matrix.

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