Abandoned automaker plants finding second lives


Almost half of the former automaker sites closed since 1979 have transitioned to new, productive uses according to a study from the Center for Automotive Research (CAR; Ann Arbor, MI). CAR's research on transitioning former automotive manufacturing sites to new purposes, includes a catalogue of the status of all closed facilities since 1979, and lessons learned from seven case study visits.

CAR found that 60% (267) of the 447 automaker manufacturing plants that have been in operation as of 1979 have closed; and of those that were shuttered, 48% (128) have been at least partially repurposed or are in the process of transitioning to a new purpose.

Closed automotive facilities were found in 28 states, and 65% were concentrated in the Midwest states of Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. The case studies were selected to reflect the population of closed facilities and included the communities of: Baltimore, MD; Batavia, OH; Coopersville, MI; Doraville, GA; Kenosha, WI; Sleepy Hollow, NY; and South Gate, CA....
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