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SATURN PLANS TO BUILD AT CORVETTE PLANT, AUTOMOTIVE NEWS REPORTS

 DETROIT, May 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Saturn Corp. appears ready to declare General Motors' (NYSE: GM) Corvette plant in Bowling Green, Ky., as a second production site, the trade paper Automotive News reports in today's edition.
 The trade paper quotes sources saying that production of Saturns in Bowling Green is planned for 1995. Production of the Corvette will continue at Bowling Green at least until then. Production of Saturn components -- such as engines, transmissions and stampings -- will remain in Spring Hill, Tenn.
 The move would fit into GM's cost-cutting strategy by allowing Saturn to build more cars without having to invest in a new plant, Automotive News reports. Bowling Green, which now operates at about one-fourth capacity, would become more efficient.
 Since its 1990 debut, Saturn has been a bright spot at General Motors. As sales have risen, the company has studied ways to increase capacity. A third shift was added this year. And now the company is preparing to tap Bowling Green, 100 miles to the north, for more output.
 Bowling Green, which operates at about one-fourth of its 80,000-unit annual capacity, has been preparing for the move by adopting Saturn-like work systems. The plant's 1,100 workers voted this month to adopt a 10-hour-a-day, four-day-a-week schedule like Saturn's. Corvette also will install Japanese-style cords that enable workers to stop the production line to address quality issues, according to Automotive News.
 Last month, Bowling Green also started its first plant-wide quality improvement program designed to encourage workers to look for productivity and quality gains.
 While the move makes sense from a manufacturing standpoint, it could create a dilemma with GM's labor ranks, the trade paper reports. Saturn has a flexible contract that pays workers in Spring Hill only 93 percent of the GM-UAW contract wages, with the balance tied to plant productivity. Saturn has only seven job classifications, compared with dozens at other GM plants, such as Bowling Green. And Saturn's management and union handle a multitude of jobs jointly, including the appointment of local union representatives.
 Automotive News is published each Monday in Detroit by Crain Communications Inc., publisher of 25 consumer, business and trade publications.
 -0- 5/24/93
 /CONTACT: Dave Versical, 313-446-1637, or Lindsay Chappell, 615-371-6654, both of Automotive News/
 (GM)


CO: Saturn Corporation; General Motors; Automotive News ST: Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee IN: AUT SU:

JG-KE -- DEMO01 -- 1475 05/24/93 07:02 EDT
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Date:May 24, 1993
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