Spring Hill, Tennessee, was once home to Saturn, who proclaimed themselves “a different kind of car company”. Poor marketing and an indistinct product line ultimately alienated buyers, and the brand was killed off by GM in 2009. By the end of Saturn’s lifespan, the Spring Hill plant was only being used to produce engines and the Chevy Traverse. The last Saturn built in Spring Hill rolled off the assembly line in 2007, and GM switched Traverse production to Lansing, MI, in 2009. Most of the Spring Hill plant was shuttered, except for the engine assembly line.
Times have changed for GM, and a worldwide uptick in sales has demanded more four cylinder engines than the Spring Hill facility can produce today. GM will be spending some $483 million to increase production and recall nearly 500 UAW workers to build motors for the U.S., Mexico, China, Korea and the EU.
The plant currently produces a variety of Ecotec motors, including the 2.4 liter direct-injection four cylinder, a separate 2.4 liter four cylinder for the Korean market, and a 2.0 liter, turbocharged direct-injection motor for the EU and Chinese markets. There are no immediate plans to reintroduce vehicle manufacturing at the Spring Hill plant, as GM currently has adequate capacity at existing plants in the U.S. and Canada.