General Motors closing Grand Blanc North American Tooling Center


General Motors Co. said it will close a tooling systems plant in Grand Blanc by the end of June.

Managers at the Grand Blanc North American Tooling Center — formerly known as the Weld Tool Center — gave the news to employees Thursday.

GM said it would transfer operations to other GM facilities in the U.S. at “considerable cost savings.”

UAW workers will be offered jobs at other facilities.

The 1.7-million-square-foot plant employs 343 people, including 315 hourly workers.

It builds tooling systems including weld guns and weld tool cells.

Recent projects included weld tool cells to support the Chevrolet Volt, Cruze, Sonic and Malibu, the Buick Regal in Canada and a small vehicle program in Brazil.

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint Township, lamented the closing in a statement.

“The Weld Tool Center plant closing announced today by General Motors is a loss for our community because every job counts. I am thankful that, at least in this case, the jobs will stay within the company and that workers will be relocated to other automotive facilities in the U.S., including existing plants in Michigan,” Kildee said.

GM said the plant on 312 acres is not for sale, but site utilization options are being considered.

GM said employment in the Flint area has risen from 6,500 in 2011 to 7,500 this year. GM has an assembly, stamping, engine and two tooling centers, customer care and sales world headquarters, and two parts processing centers.

At its peak in the late 1970s, GM employed about 80,000 people in the Flint area, many at its “Buick City” complex.

The U.S. government built the Grand Blanc plant in 1942 to produce Sherman and Pershing tanks.

In 1947, the Buick Motor Division leased the plant for service activity, and Fisher Body purchased it in 1951.

During the Korean War, Fisher Body produced Patton tanks. In 1955, Fisher converted the plant into an automotive body metal fabricating facility.

In 1984, GM assigned the plant Buick-Oldsmobile-Cadillac Group.

It became part of Cadillac Motor Car Group in 1987 and was realigned with Cadillac/Luxury Car Division in 1992.

The plant then became part of GM’s Metal Fabricating Division in 1994.

(202) 662-8735

Comments are closed.