A piece of Michigan’s manufacturing history met its end as the former Chevrolet-Saginaw transmission plant began demolish earlier this week.
MLive reported demolish began on the former auto factory portion of the facility, while a warehouse will be refurbished. The site is currently for sale after Applied Partners purchased the facility in July 2018.
The site was last home to TRW Automotive, which produced parts for various General Motors vehicles. TRW closed in 2014 and wiped away 600 jobs from the area. At its peak, the Chevrolet plant employed thousands of workers building bumpers and transmissions.
The plant was also one of dozens across the country GM converted to support wartime efforts in the 20th century. The plant specifically made propellors for B 29 bombers, landing gear yonkers, nose spinners, crankcases, and pitch propeller hubs during WWII. By the time the U.S. entered the Korean War, the plant began assembling tank transmissions.
After its life as a Chevrolet plant, Delphi operated at the facility and built chassis.
Locals hope the demolish comes as a fresh start for the site, which has been abandoned for nearly five years now. The loss of TRW has already affected the local economy. Without workers at the site, local businesses have suffered. A similar story has played out in Janesville, Wisconsin, after the vehicle assembly plant closed for good four years ago.
As GM prepares for another round of restructuring, Lordstown, Ohio, and Hamtramck, Michigan, may be next on the list to deal with ghost town factories.
The site is currently for sale for $3.35 million and the price is negotiable, per the original report.