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Old 10-30-2008, 06:15 PM   #1
fujioko
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Default Spring Hill Home comming.. 14 years too late.

Hi ‘ya folks,

I had a rare opportunity to visit the Spring Hill assembly plant this week. This was business / technical trip and not a tour. As I understand it, they are no longer giving tours. Perhaps that will change when the new SUV type vehicle makes it to mass market. I cant say I was excited to see the new vehicle.. but I’m really biased toward plastic Saturns.

Nothing really important to report, however I must say Spring Hill is not just other assembly plant. Wow! I have been to all the major assembly plants throughout the US and Spring Hill was truly unique. The Corvette plant in Kentucky comes up second on my list.

It’s sad that Saturn no longer offers a product that I would buy…. Of course me being cheap and all… I really wouldn’t buy new anyway.

Yeah I know the plastic cars had poor fit and finish but 12 years down the road they look better than anything else their age.

I realize the durability and cheapness of the plastic Saturn is something that appeals to me. I have owned a hand full BMW’s in the past.. yet my plastic Saturn is the best car I have ever owned. I qualify that statement with the above mention “cheap and durable”. In reality I got a lot more respect in the Bimmer.

Long live the plastic car!!!!!


...
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79 Triumph Spitfire <--British car
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Old 10-30-2008, 06:29 PM   #2
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Default Re: Spring Hill Home comming.. 14 years too late.

Yeah, probably interesting to watch the Traverse being rolled out there instead of Saturns right?

...
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Old 10-31-2008, 03:28 AM   #3
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Default Re: Spring Hill Home comming.. 14 years too late.

Interesting seeing the old Saturn plant in the photo. Wow. I always pictured it being a lot bigger than that.

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Old 10-31-2008, 06:37 AM   #4
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Default Re: Spring Hill Home comming.. 14 years too late.

Yeah, cameras are not allowed in the assembly plant so the only picture I could snap was of the old barn. I believe this barn was where Henry P Saturn built the original Saturn TL1. The body was made of plastic from soy bean oil. Not may people realize the long history of Spring hill.

...
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Old 10-31-2008, 07:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: Spring Hill Home comming.. 14 years too late.

And don't forget the early Saturn Steamers (not to be confused with the Cleveland variety). Henry P. was quite the inventor.

The first time I ever went to Spring Hill was on unrelated business in 1995, the second was 2004, and the third time was just this past August. It's interesting to compare how the area around the plant changed over that span of time. Heck, it's changed quite a bit just since 2004, especially the development going on north of the Saturn Parkway interchange. I almost didn't recognize it as I came south on US 31.

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Old 10-31-2008, 10:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: Spring Hill Home comming.. 14 years too late.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fujioko View Post
Yeah, cameras are not allowed in the assembly plant so the only picture I could snap was of the old barn. I believe this barn was where Henry P Saturn built the original Saturn TL1. The body was made of plastic from soy bean oil. Not may people realize the long history of Spring hill.
These are my pics from the first Homecoming. In those days, you could use a camera, but no flash.

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Old 10-31-2008, 10:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: Spring Hill Home comming.. 14 years too late.

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Old 11-01-2008, 03:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: Spring Hill Home comming.. 14 years too late.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fujioko View Post
Yeah, cameras are not allowed in the assembly plant so the only picture I could snap was of the old barn.
Thats sucks. At the 1999 Homecoming I took several hundred pics, with flash and tons of video inside the assembly areas.

...
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Old 11-01-2008, 08:46 PM   #9
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Default Re: Spring Hill Home comming.. 14 years too late.

I’m not sure of the policy of cameras during tours of the plant, however “suppliers” are not allowed to carry cameras. I had access to things that are confidential.

The silly thing is … uhhh my cell phone has a camera. I turn off the ringer and hide the phone in my back pocket. I’m certainly not about to start shooting pictures, I just don’t want to be without my phone. It is sort of a practical business tool.

The photos posted by I69norm are awesome. I wonder if any of those folks had a hand in building my special order ’96 SW1. I think the guy/gal who installed the hatch release was having a bad day. That is the only real factory defect I have found in 242K miles.

...
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Old 11-01-2008, 08:52 PM   #10
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Default Re: Spring Hill Home comming.. 14 years too late.

Quote:
Originally Posted by l69norm View Post
These are my pics from the first Homecoming. In those days, you could use a camera, but no flash.
Those made me feel kinda sad... but thanks for posting them.

...
Old Saturns never die, people KILL them, so check your damn oil!
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Old 11-02-2008, 12:28 AM   #11
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Default Re: Spring Hill Home comming.. 14 years too late.

While you were by the barn, did you happen to see if the visitors center musuem still open? I wonder if they still have everything still in there.

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Old 11-02-2008, 01:44 AM   #12
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Default Re: Spring Hill Home comming.. 14 years too late.

Yes! the visitor center is still open. I think I was the only visitor they had for the day. My time was limited so I really didn’t get a chance to absorb a lot.

...
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Old 11-02-2008, 12:58 PM   #13
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Default Re: Spring Hill Home comming.. 14 years too late.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfman View Post
Those made me feel kinda sad... but thanks for posting them.
Same here. I miss the good 'ol days! Ah well, at least my Legacy was built in a modern plant here in the United States!

http://www.subaru-sia.com/

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Old 11-02-2008, 03:17 PM   #14
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Default Re: Spring Hill Home comming.. 14 years too late.

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Originally Posted by VTHokie00SL2 View Post
Ah well, at least my Legacy was built in a modern plant here in the United States!

http://www.subaru-sia.com/

Ditto for the Maxima - which is also built in Tennessee.


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Old 11-02-2008, 11:22 PM   #15
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Default Re: Spring Hill Home comming.. 14 years too late.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fujioko View Post
Long live the plastic car!!!!!

Here Here!

That is really sad that they build a Chevy at the Saturn plant now. Why not build it somewhere else? They could always build the next-gen Saturn Astra in Spring Hill. That would be nice.

...
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Old 11-03-2008, 10:46 AM   #16
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Default Re: Spring Hill Home comming.. 14 years too late.

Hmm, foreign cars manufactured in the US? Wow, I just goggled that and discovered there is a lot more than I had expected.

I have been to the Flat Rock assembly plant in Michigan where they assemble the Mustang and the Mazda M?. Anyway its bizarre to see a full boat high output American muscle car on the exact same assembly line as a skinny little Mazda.

Japanese assembly plants have yellow tape on the floor with messages telling you what the tape is outlining. For instance a trash can has a yellow tape rectangle on the floor with the words “trash”. Everything has a place. Everything is organized down to the last millimeter. There would be absolute ciaos if the trash can was outside the rectangle. Reports would be generated and memos sent. The trash can would be placed back inside the rectangle and an ever watchful eye would keep track of its movement. If no further issues developed then the crisis would be over. However if the problem persisted then a committee would be assembled and alternative action would be deployed.

Not really a rant just an observation

...
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