Assembly Plant Favored by Bankrupt Automakers Can Be Yours
The former General Motors Wilmington Assembly Plant, which cranked out Saturns, Oldsmobiles and Pontiacs before falling victim to economic and corporate forces, is looking for a new owner.
This time, however, it wants a buyer that isn’t a luxury plug-in electric car maker that folds before a single vehicle can leave the factory.
According to Delaware Online, Wanxiang America Inc. put the 142-acre property up for sale as it attempts to rid itself of an asset (liability?) left over from Fisker Automotive’s bankruptcy castoffs. The Chinese conglomerate purchased Fisker’s assets in 2014 following the short-lived automaker’s meteoric rise and crash.
Whoever buys the property will surely enjoy its huge amount of space, history aplenty, and Delaware’s low, low property taxes.
First opened in 1947, the 3.2 million square foot plant was once a jewel in GM’s crown. Millions of vehicles built by GM’s Buick-Oldsmobile-Pontiac Assembly Division dutifully rolled off the line in Wilmington, only ceasing when bankruptcy overtook the auto giant. Its final vehicle? A 2009 Pontiac Solstice convertible.
During its formidable years, numerous Middle America models rolled out of Wilmington, perhaps the most infamous being the Chevrolet Chevette. When the plant closed in 2009, upstart Fisker Automotive saw an opportunity. The California-based automaker was readying its extended-range electric Karma sedan and saw Wilmington as the perfect spot to build its future Atlantic model. It bought the plant in October of that year, but the assembly line never moved again.
Fisker’s failure was swift. Technical problems plagued the expensive Karma sedan and the company failed to meet obligations laid out by the Department of Energy, which had provided huge loans. Unable to repay them, Fisker declared bankruptcy, leaving taxpayers on the hook for millions and the Delaware plant in darkness.
Don’t expect another automaker to set up shop in Wilmington. The plant’s unglamorous future probably holds a big-box retail distribution operation.
More by Steph Willems
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- Analoggrotto Buyers are skipping these in droves and heading down to sign the golden paperwork for a new Telluride. ATPs speak volumes and we have 'em. Our customers are telling us that we offer Mercedes quality for a better deal, and our suite of luxury features rivals any luxury automaker. Insult me all you want, but AVMs, DSDs and BSODs tell the truth.
- Ted Lulis The Exodus from California is mind-boggling. No surprise from the rectum of the country
- Mr Imperial Seeing the adjusted-for-inflation amount always makes me sick, I can't believe how much it has gone up in my 40-some-odd trips around the sun. Still fondly remember seeing these and Ford Explorers everywhere.
- Kyl65759578 👋
- ToolGuy I appreciate the thoughtful comments from the little people here, and I would like to remind everyone that Ford Motor Company offers a full range of vehicles which are ideal for any driving environment including New York City. The size and weight our of product portfolio has been fully and completely optimized to be friendly to the planet and friendly to pedestrians while consuming the bare minimum of resources from our precious planet (I am of course a lifelong environmentalist). Plus, our performance models will help you move forward and upward by conquering obstacles and limits such as congestion and your fellow humans more quickly at a higher rate of speed. I invite you to learn more at our website.Signed, William Clay Ford Jr.