After a 12-month retooling and an investment topping $600 million, General Motors' Spring Hill Manufacturing on Oct. 3 kicked off the start of regular production of the all-new 2009 Chevrolet Traverse, GM's newest crossover vehicle to be introduced in the market.
"The Chevy Traverse is fast becoming one of our most important volume products as buyers increasingly turn to more fuel efficient crossovers with today's rising cost of fuel. Traverse is a leader in its segment in highway fuel economy thanks to its new 3.6-liter V-6 engine with direct injection technology," said Troy Clarke, GM executive vice president and president of GM North America.
The $600 million investment in the facility included a 500,000 square foot addition to the plant paint shop for a state-of-the art e-coat phosphate primer system. It also encompassed a complete clearing and rebuilding of the facility's 1.2 million square foot general assembly area.
In addition, the conversion of the plant to produce the new Chevy Traverse included the following:
- Addition of 31 miles of new conveyor systems throughout the plant's body shop, paint shop and general assembly manufacturing areas.
- Installation of 1,625 tons of support steel in the general assembly building as part of the complete reconfiguration of the assembly line there. More than 22,000 tons of scrap metal was recycled in this part of the project.
- Complete facility refurbishment and installation of 623 new robots in the 850,000 square foot, state-of-the-art body shop, that perform 3,826 weld spots on each Chevy Traverse for exceptional dimensional and structural integrity of the vehicle.