Thursday, March 29, 2007

Final Saturns in Tennessee

The final Saturn vehicles are being built in the Spring Hill Manufacturing Facility for General Motors. They are laying off the bulk of the employees to retool the plant for a new vehicle, the yet-unnamed Chevrolet crossover vehicle. I took a few photos around the plant to give an idea of what the place is (was) like.

Part of the deal with the state when they built the plant was that it had to be below a certain height, so they dug a big hole and built the plant in a man-made valley. Another requirement was that it be painted to match the color of the sky, and it looks like they came pretty close:

One of the more difficult applications I have been dealing with was the Automatic Storage and Retrieval System, basically a big sorting shelf with cranes that deposit and remove parts. I'll be glad when they demolish it next month:

They had a bit of a celebration to celebrate the last vehicles off the line, complete with Saturn balloons!

They built out all other colors and the last color they build is white. It looks like Henry Ford's old plan, "any color you want, as long as it's white."

There are a lot of people who will be looking for jobs while the retooling goes on, and some, especially local suppliers who will not have a job when the plant opens back up.

The celebrations were pretty subdued for this reason. They finally announced the new vehicle today, so that was cause for celebration, even though most of us knew about it months ago. It's nice to hear it become official though, so there's hope for continued work for a long, long time.


mcSey said...

Unlike at the poker tables where I feel it's a bit gauche to wish someone "Good luck." (It's a game of skill right;) Here I certainly wish you good luck.

Pisco Bandito said...

You work for GM? I did until this summer. I took the buyout to go back to school. Good luck to ya!