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Spring Hill to build Chevy Lambda

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Tenn. Saturn plant will switch to building Chevrolet crossover
By ROSE FRENCH
AP

Posted Image
Artist Rendering by MJDecker


SPRING HILL, Tenn. (AP) - General Motors Corp. announced Thursday that its plant in Spring Hill, which has built Saturn models for nearly 17 years, will be building a new brand.

The brand's birthplace rolled out its last models for the Saturn brand this week as the plant gets ready to reconfigure its production lines to build new GM vehicles.

GM executives and union officials who met with employees at the plant said the product will be a Chevrolet crossover vehicle, according to people familiar with the meeting who requested anonymity because the automaker hasn't yet officially announced its plans.

Troy Clarke, GM's North American president, and Tim Lee, GM vice president for manufacturing and labor relations, attended the meeting along with Cal Rapson, vice president of the United Auto Workers union.

Designed to compete with low-cost Japanese imports, GM launched the Saturn brand at its plant in the small Tennessee town of Spring Hill in 1990.

Close to 2,400 of the plant's nearly 4,700 workers are being laid off for about 18 months while the plant is remodeled.

GM has promised to bring the workers back once the facility is equipped to produce other GM vehicles.

AP Business Writer Tom Krisher in Detroit contributed to this report.
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I really hope the Chevy version is not just a rebadged/regrilled Outlook/Acadia or even Enclave. They all look too similar now as it is, and I hope equipment differentiation is in the cards too-bring innovation to the table like Ford Flex will! I hope this will be encouragement for GM to not just stop and give themselves a pat on the back for a job very well done with the Lambdas, but to keep improving on it!

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Not liking the styling.

The Cheyenne concept nose does not work here.

It's too soft and femmy lokking, perhaps that is

the point though...

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Does anyone here know for sure whether or not the Chevy Lambda will look like the Acadia/Outlook?

I don't think so, and just as in that pic (which is a pretty ugly, but thorough chop of an Outlook with the Cheyenne grille and Tahoe wheels), it's just another mishmash guess.

That said, I would HOPE it's differentiated like the Enclave is differentiated, but am having a strong feeling it's going to be another along the lines of the Tahoe-Yukon, Silverado-Sierra...essentially an Acadia made into a Chevy with some new pieces. Then again, this chop would be pretty close in that aspect. But we'll see.

Edited by caddycruiser
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I don't think the A-pillar back will be much different from the Acadia, but I expect a different front end and different interior. Some of the Chevy Lambdas will also be built at Delta Township.

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I actually think the Outlook looks more Chevy from the A-pillar back then the Acadia. So, I wonder if they would just ditch the wrap-around rear glass that the Outlook has, then change the front end end interior on it.

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i'm betting the styling is significanltly different. heck we don't even know if it's going to be the same size as the others.

also, GM wouldn't change an ENTIRE assembly site for one model. I wonder if a Saab version is in the works. The

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I really hope the Chevy is different. The Lambdas are too good to pass the bucket around. I'm afraid it will end up shortening their competitive lifespans.

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i'm betting the styling is significanltly different. heck we don't even know if it's going to be the same size as the others.

also, GM wouldn't change an ENTIRE assembly site for one model. I wonder if a Saab version is in the works. The

They are changing the assembly site because they don't have capacity to build it in Lansing; if done right, the Chevy could do upwards of 200K. The site has nothing to do with how different the vehicles will be.

Yes, it would be nice to see some significant differences. The timing of this will likely coincide with the other Lambda's MCEs, so there is room for some change back of the A-pillar, but as was already said, the bulk will be to fascias and interior. I'd rate their success in differentiation in terms of how packaging is different.

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GM knows what it is doing. Lambdas are the NEW family sedan like the Caprice was in the 70's/80's.

They need all the volume out of lambda they can muster, especially with trailblazer sales tanking.

the styling will be unique. The trailblazer is different than the envoy. Acadia/outlook will continue to share panels.

We should all rejoice this. GM got smart. This is what will keep chevy in real cash flow for the next 5-7 years. not the camaro, not a rwd only impala.

Now if they would announce a 9-7x and SRX that are unique, but on Lambda, then we are set.

Edited by regfootball
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What about a true minivan on the same platform, rather than a cross-over? Can that be done? Giving Chevrolet a real minivan to compete against Honda/Toyota (as opposed to having to give away the Uplander with a set of dishes) would be a good marketing position, PLUS it wouldn't compete directly against the rest of the Lambdas.

I tell you, some days I feel like a traffic cop for P-B-GMC. Not a day goes by that someone doesn't wander in and ask about the Acadia, then when I point out that they are in a Chevrolet store (yes, sir, I know there is a GM sign on the pylon), they want to know what we have instead. Ah, that would be NOTHING.

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I was expecting it to be called the Nomad.

Not that I believe it could possibly look or be named like the chop. That would not be good.

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Spring Hill has the capacity to build another vehicle beyond 200k of these Chevy's, correct? :) (next gen Astra... please!)

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GM knows what it is doing. Lambdas are the NEW family sedan like the Caprice was in the 70's/80's.

They need all the volume out of lambda they can muster, especially with trailblazer sales tanking.

the styling will be unique. The trailblazer is different than the envoy. Acadia/outlook will continue to share panels.

We should all rejoice this. GM got smart. This is what will keep chevy in real cash flow for the next 5-7 years. not the camaro, not a rwd only impala.

Now if they would announce a 9-7x and SRX that are unique, but on Lambda, then we are set.

Actually, if I were a Chevy fan (and to some extent, I actually am), I'd be hoping that the supremely capable and well-appointed new Malibu can wipe the floor with the Camry or Accord. That, I think, will be more important than the number of permutations GM can squeeze out of the Lambda.

And for God's sake, why should there be a Saab version? They didn't honestly need a sport-ute to start with, much less one with a pushrod V8 like the 9-7X. What Saab desperately needs is a new 9-5, which had better be able to run with at least the low-end BMW 5-series models if it wants to have a chance.

Somewhat off-topic; I apologize. Back to Lambdas...

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I'd love to see Chevy build a short wheelbase model of the Lambda, with just five seats like the Grand Cherokee or Edge. I love the new ones, but they're too darn big! I have a '93 Grand Cherokee, and one reason I've never replaced it is that the size continues to be perfect - easy to park, easy to manuever. SUVs and now CUVs are getting bigger when they should be getting smaller. (My '93 GC weighs about 3,500 pounds, the new ones are well over 4,000.)

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Actually, if I were a Chevy fan (and to some extent, I actually am), I'd be hoping that the supremely capable and well-appointed new Malibu can wipe the floor with the Camry or Accord. That, I think, will be more important than the number of permutations GM can squeeze out of the Lambda.

And for God's sake, why should there be a Saab version? They didn't honestly need a sport-ute to start with, much less one with a pushrod V8 like the 9-7X. What Saab desperately needs is a new 9-5, which had better be able to run with at least the low-end BMW 5-series models if it wants to have a chance.

Somewhat off-topic; I apologize. Back to Lambdas...

a-families don't buy sedans. too small. they want SUV's, crossovers, and minivans for family hauling. developing a malibu that competes does not compromise the need to expand the offerings in the most currently lucrative retail segment, crossovers. chevy needs to excel in both segments.

b-a lot of Saab's lack of success is the fact they don't have a credible SUV in their stable to battle the Volvo XC, Mercedes M class, X5, Lexus products, etc. The new 9-5 may be Saabs biggest image need but at the same time its irresponsible to suggest that any Saab need should be ignored. Don't kid yourself. Even though the top sedans are image builders for luxury marques, the SUV's are the items that probably generate more $$$$. Q7, RX330? Why else would Audi have brought over such an ungly pile of pork in the Q7 when the Allroad A5 was just fine? They needed an SUV silly. Saab rebadging a Bravada and putting a pushrod v8 in it with a subpar interior does not cut it. If you asked dealers they would probably tell you they would immediately benefit more from a top drawer SUV rather than a sedan at this point. A twin turbo 6 cylinder 9-7x with unique style and a kick ass interior would be the cats meow.

Edited by regfootball
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An Acadia with sliding doors would work. Or something of the sort.

since the acadia does not have the cargo capacity of a minivan it would fail at trying to be a minivan if you added sliding doors. Let a minivan be a minivan. The Acadia is an SUV. Its cargo area lacks the height and some length compared to a van. Chevy needs a unique minivan.

Edited by regfootball
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A five-seat (or cramped third-row) SWB version please...

I believe that need is served by the Equinox-more so when it is redesigned and if it will gain that useless or near-useless 3rd row.
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