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Discussion Starter #1
I saw a Solstice this morning on the way to work. It was Glossy Black. Located in Auburn Hills Michigan heading north on Joslyn rd.

Anyone know where these will be produced??? Just curious as the Lake Orion Assembly plant used to do Olsmobiles about 2 miles north from the sighting.

I wasn't expecting to see these for a while.

Also on my spotters list was 3 Lotus Elise in a rear lot in Ann Arbor (Thursday and Friday) and a Ford GT-40 on I-696 during 5:00 rush hour on Friday. The GT-40 had manufacturer plates on it.

I need to get a digital camera or one of those camera phones or something.
 

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Bryan said:
Anyone know where these will be produced??? Just curious as the Lake Orion Assembly plant used to do Olsmobiles about 2 miles north from the sighting.
Wilmington, DE (the ex Saturn L plant)
 

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Solstice is being built...

To answer your question, the Solstice is being built is an older Saturn Plant in or near Maryland. The plant went under a retooling about three months ago. The retooling process was to take six months. The employees of the plant were laid off while the retooling took place. Under the UAW contract, a layoff for this proceedure pays the employees 95% of their wages. I guess you could view it as a nice vacation.

I'm very surprised to hear you saw one on the road. I live in an area where the companies frequently test drive their upcoming models. They drive in caravans and the cars are always cover with thick black padding so that you can't see any body details.

Please, get a camera and take a few shots. Better yet...ask the guy if you can drive it for a while and then swing by my place and pick me up!
 

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Just an FYI on the Deleware plant. Saturn L Series production was to end this month, and then it will be another 6 months for the re-tooling. That will leave the plant ready to begin producing pre-production test mules around mid January 2005.

Article regarding using the Deleware plant, including the July shutdown ending L Series production:

http://www.detnews.com/2004/autosinsider/0403/03/d01-79443.htm
 

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I saw it on the road with the top up. It looked nice but very much like the older BMW Z3. The larger Pontiac grill was a dead give away and it seemed to have a very low feel to it. I doub't if I will see the same car again. We do get a LOT of pre-production vehicles in my area with zero camo. Auburn Hills is a hot bed for Chrysler and GM. A Pontiac was a big suprise for me. Especially one being produced out of state. That's the reason I asked. I usually see a lot of Chrysler products including some that have never been released. Trust me, if they were made in Lake Orion Assembly I'd jump the fence and take a pic of the whole freaking lot for ya'll.

I can't afford one till my Powerstroke and Harley are paid off so it will be about 2 years before I could get one. At least the bugs will be worked out and I'll find out if it's cool or just another trend like the new beetle and PT Cruiser. The only complaint I have is I really like the center exhaust on the 1st version. Now it's kinda of an after thought hanging out the side and makes it look more like a production low end Pontiac.
 

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mceb said:
They may have a test mule out there for GM brass to take a look at (and play with).
I think they should drop one off at my place and let me take a look at it too! :D I'll give them an "outside" opinion!
 

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Bryan, next time you see the Solstice, and you don't have a camera, at least try to follow it back to where it came from. Depending on what you're driving and the kind of roads, it should tell us alot about how well it handles as they try to get away from you. :D
 

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I think I might know the person driving the black one you saw. If it is the one I think, it's been sighted at the Tech center in warren, and also in the Milford area (not surprising) before the July 4th weekend.

I was hinted at to keep my eyes peeled - as Yoda says: "there is another..."

The flat black ones and the white with checkerboard tape show up from time to time in the Milford, Highland, Novi, Farmington Hills areas also.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the update. I didn't realize there were several floating around. The one I saw was glossy black not flat black. Are these test mules in the frozen tundra of Detroit or have they made a short production run to test the assembly process. What I saw was very promising and looked ready for sale. If that's the case they have a good full year to work out the bugs for a clean release.
 

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Bryan said:
Thanks for the update. I didn't realize there were several floating around. The one I saw was glossy black not flat black. Are these test mules in the frozen tundra of Detroit or have they made a short production run to test the assembly process. What I saw was very promising and looked ready for sale. If that's the case they have a good full year to work out the bugs for a clean release.
Since the plant in DE just recently closed for re-tooling I doubt they are testing the production line yet. Could be hand-built mules.
 

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They definately sound like they are hand built test mules to develop and fine tune the driveline and suspension components for the production models. It will be a while before the DE plant is turning out any Solstices.
 

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Pretty sure these must be hand built or partially hand built later versions (the glossy ones). If I was told correctly, the glossy one had chrome door handles, and an interior. My guess: probably not plant-built. Most of the big companies have small production-simulation lines (I'm pretty sure Chrysler has one in their tech center) that are a fraction the size of an assembly plant, but allow tryouts of production processes before the plant is ready to start building.

If this is the case, then GM probably has a place they weld-paint-assemble "close to production" vehicles. The most logical place is at the Tech Center, although if you are seeing them in Auburn Hills, then maybe they have a facility to build these versions somewhere in the Pontiac area (the old assembly plant converted to office building is probably a good candidtate...). Certainly there are no facilities to do such work at the RenCen.
 
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