Spring Hill reborn

Thursday, March 13, 2008
The former Saturn plant at Spring Hill will now produce the Chevrolet Traverse, a 'crossover' vehicle that combines the people-carrying and cargo-hauling capabilities of an SUV with the comfort and finish of a car.

SPRING HILL -- It was big news for Middle Tennessee when General Motors decided to build the plant for their new Saturn car between Columbia and Spring Hill. People moved down here from "up north" to work at Saturn, some of them settling in Marshall County, and many locals got jobs there, too.

It was a big boost for the local economy, and started the transformation of Spring Hill from a sleepy little village to one of the fastest-growing towns in Tennessee.

The first Saturn S-series car rolled off the line at the new plant on July 30, 1990. The last Saturns -- Vues and Ions -- were built there in March 2007, but General Motors had no intention of shutting the facility down forever.

Ecotec 2.0 and 2.4 liter engines continued to be made there, but the rest of the plant started a major transformation. Tons and tons of machinery were dismantled, moved, rebuilt, redesigned. Apart from Saturn Parkway, the link to I-65, all the road signs were changed to refer to "GM Spring Hill" instead of "Saturn."

See Friday's Tribune for the complete story.