DETROIT -- Production of the Saturn Ion will move from Spring Hill, Tenn., to General Motors' assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio, when the vehicle is redesigned for the 2008 model year.
The move was confirmed Monday by a source who knew of the automaker's plans. It was first reported on Saturday, June 18, by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. A GM spokeswoman declined to comment on the report.
The Ion, Saturn's entry-level small car, uses GM's Delta architecture. The Delta architecture also is used on the Chevrolet Cobalt, which is now built in the Lordstown plant.
Through the first five months of this year, Ion sales are down 9.3 percent to 38,877 units.
The switch in calendar 2007 will mark the end of the Spring Hill plant's original product line. On July 30, 1990, a Saturn SL sedan was the first production car driven off the line in Spring Hill. At the wheel was GM Chairman Roger Smith, who retired the next day.
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