6. Saturn Changed Everything
Saturn might no longer be a car that is made by General Motors, but the General Motors manufacturing presence that still operates today in Spring Hill started more than 30 years ago and changed Spring Hill forever.
Before Saturn came to Spring Hill in the 1980s, Spring Hill was a strictly rural town.
The giant domestic auto manufacturer, which would build a plant there in 1985, forever changed the character of Spring Hill. The plant has since shut down and been re-purposed by the city and businesses. But it got the ball rolling.
GM, which owned Saturn, exercised an option to buy 1,000 acres of Haynes Haven Farm in the summer of 1985. Their plans for a $3.5 billion manufacturing plant on the site started that year.
It was a deal done on the state level. Then Tennessee governor Lamar Alexander and United Auto Workers president Don Ephlin announced the news on July 30, 1985.
It would take nearly five years of construction and hiring before the first Saturn rolled off the line on July 30, 1990.
A new plant open almost exactly 10-years later. Saturn slowly faded but the plant became part of GM in 2004. Today the facility employs nearly 2,000 people and includes a four-cylinder engine assembly plant, auto assembly plant, paint and plastics plant, a Saturn parts warehouse, and a visitors center. As well as a recently announced more-than $780 million expansion.
The cachet of Saturn enabled a parkway to be built, which connected Spring Hill to Interstate 65. Business boomed, as the population of the city exploded post-Saturn.
The city would not be what it is today without the plant, and that is shown in the last partnership the city government has with the manufacturer.