Question Of The Day: Have You Ever Visited Or Worked At… An Assembly Plant?

Steven Lang
by Steven Lang
question of the day have you ever visited or worked at an assembly plant

Do you know West Point?

If you ask an automotive assembly plant designer, chances are the West Point he is thinking about won’t have statues of General MacArthur or cadets in full uniform.

It will be this place.

Nearly a million square feet loaded with over a billion dollars worth of assembly equipment. 360,000 cars a year. Three shifts. Three models. Over 3,000 employees with easily 15,000 more people getting indirect employment from the activities of this one complex.

When you enter the Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia Auto Plant (KMMG), you enter a colossus. Typically, a visitor will get a planned presentation in a side room near the lobby, a quick tour of the plant, and a token of remembrance that is similar to the gifts you get for becoming a valued member at an NPR or PBS telethon.

In my case it was a coffee mug with the word Kia emblazoned on it. A nice memento for a half day’s worth of sightseeing.

But other folks experience a lifetime’s worth of memories.

What about you?

Have you ever visited or worked at… an assembly plant?

Join the conversation
2 of 101 comments
  • Econobiker Econobiker on Jul 26, 2012

    I worked with a tier one supplier to the heavy truck oem's and got into many of the plants (and/or hq's) in some form or fashion. Freightliner,Portland, OR Freightliner, Statesville, NC Kenworth, Renton, WA Kenworth, (KenMex) Mexicali Baja Mexico Peterbilt, Denton TX Peterbilt, Madison, TN (R.I.P-closed down) Was into Freightliner HQ in OR, Volvo HQ in VA, and International Truck Engineering in Fort Wayne. Of note: - visiting the Kenworth Renton factory about one month before serial killer Gary Ridgeway was arrested. He was apparently a long term 2nd shift paint booth employee who did tape off for custom stripe and multi-color cab paint jobs. (So millions of people may have seen his ~artwork~ in a round-a-bout way via the Kenworth trucks on the road prior to 2002.) Luckily 2nd shift was not running on the Friday we toured as I remember we (myself, the company sales guy, and a Kenworth HQ engineer) were kicked out of the facility as 1st shift shut down... - being on the line at Peterbilt Denton when the redesigned part, which my company had made, was swapped over from the previous part design after having been involved in over one year long process to achieve this redesign (new process and material for a commodity part). - going to Peterbilt Madison during one of the strikes and the supervisors building (or trying to build) some ultra low volume of trucks per day. -at International Truck Engineering in Fort Wayne, IN, myself and the sales guy were treated to a wintery cold but very interesting walk around the storage lot behind the facility by an older engineer who mostly wanted to smoke a couple of cigarettes. We saw an advanced design of a tractor for what would later become the Lone Star tractor. This unit was hidden back in among the test trailers. We had to actually come back inside since it started to snow. - at Freightliner Swan Island we saw the mainline and then the special builds. An 8 wheel drive (4 front and 4 back wheels) oil field truck had a straight, triple laminated frame about 50' long , the wheels and tires were 6' tall, and it was equipped with Euro/Gulf country market signage / lighting. The front bumper was at head height for 6' tall person. Surely enough room in the desert to turn that monster around! Also saw some US military 6x6 trucks being built there and it struck me that the camouflage patterns were all the same from the factory. That's all that I can speak of right now...

  • I spent the summer of 1995 doing subcontracting physical plant inspections for Jacobs Engineering for GM. Spent a lot of time on the roofs of many plants including Lansing 1 and Lansing 6, Orion, Bay City and Flint. I also spent two weeks at GM Powertrain in Livonia. Loved watching those Northstars go together.

  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Ed That has to be a joke.