After intensive study, the automaker and union-funded think tank, the Center For Automotive Research (CAR), came to the conclusion that closing down automotive manufacturing sites is not as catastrophic as originally thought. Nearly half of the 267 U.S. automotive manufacturing plants that had been shuttered since 1979 have come back to life.
With generous support from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, CAR catalogued 447 sites in 28 states that had operational since 1979. Of those, 60 percent were closed.
Automotive News [sub] read beyond the press release and unearthed that 65 percent of the closed sites belonged to General Motors, 16 percent to Ford, 16 percent to Chrysler and 3 percent to other automakers. Said Jay Williams, Director of the Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers:
“While each community with a closed automotive facility faces unique challenges, this report helps shine a light on how community engagement, a focus on flexibility, and the involvement of the private sector, non-profit groups, and all levels of government can help them recover. The findings will assist our office as we continue to help leaders navigate the local, state, and federal resources available to revitalize former auto communities.”
Most of the new sites received a new job for industrial purposes, others were converted into warehouses, commercial facilities, educational institutions or even for recreational purposes.