General Motors has finished up one of the largest U.S. automotive manufacturing investments in quite some time. Last year, the automaker allocated over $5 billion into American manufacturing for its plants to keep, and add jobs, plus invest into required retooling and manufacturing advancements.
In Delta Township, Michigan, GM has been a motivator and major investor in the community, bringing a resurgence to the once floundering manufacturing center. In fact, some experts say GM will make an even bolder commitment to the region: a new manufacturing facility.
The Lansing State Journal reports former mayor David Hollister predicts GM will construct a new manufacturing facility in “five to seven years.”
Of the 1,100 acres GM currently owns at Millett Highway and Guinea Road, only 320 acres are developed.
“GM isn’t in the farming business,” Hollister said. Hollister has long been connected with the automotive industry, and spearheaded the Blue Ribbon Committee to keep the region’s automotive manufacturing sector kicking.
“The industry is coming back, new product is critical, there’s flexibility and a skilled workforce that’s critical, you have land available that doesn’t have to go through the political process to get designated, and you got infrastructure,” Hollister said of the reasons he believes a new plant will be built. “It’s all there.”
For the optimism, local leaders remain grounded, though. After nearly watching the American automotive manufacturing base erode away in 2009, UAW leaders don’t bet on the future.
“Being in the auto industry, you don’t bet on your future,” said Bill Reed, president of United Auto Workers Local 602, a second generation GM veteran. “You make your hay when the sun is shining and make sure we’re building a quality product for our customers so our customers come back to us.”