US: GM sees heritage value in old Flint plant image

The largest US automaker and the third biggest in the world has recently announced it would spend millions of dollars on the old carriage manufacturing “Factory One” building it had acquired back in 2013.

The former Durant-Dort factory in Flint will be transformed by General Motors and the Kettering University into an archive and research facility that will also encompass a collection of classic cars now housed by Kettering. The automaker has already invested around $3 million on fixes and consolidation work to the 25, 000-square-foot building. The facility was leased back in 1886 by Flint Road Cart Company founders William Crapo Durant and Josiah Dallas Dort, with the former later establishing General Motors. The plans will have the building’s first floor made into an archive and research center, also housing the automotive collection brought from the Kettering University. The other floor would have a meeting area for the company, for the community and educational groups. The carmaker added the construction work would start next year and most likely finish the next.

“The beautiful restoration of Factory One as a centerpiece of Carriage Town and downtown Flint provides us with an amazing opportunity to partner with GM and to provide these iconic historical treasures with the vibrant, innovative display they so richly deserve,” commented Kettering University President Dr. Robert McMahan. General Motors has been hard at work setting up expansion plans in the US, also investing billions into its research and development center that was impacted last year by massive floods.