General Motors to invest $161 million at Flint Assembly Plant, Michigan

Thursday, May 21, 2015

General Motors would invest $161 million at its Flint Assembly plant on Van Slyke Road, according to a tax abatement application filed with the city.

The tax break would allow GM to retain 2,800 employees at the company's last assembly plant in Flint, according to a city review of the application.

The City Council is scheduled to set a hearing date on the abatement during a committee meeting Thursday, May 21.

GM spokesman Tom Wickham said the application is an exploration of options for the company as it considers future investments in its facilities.

"We don't have anything official to announce at this time," Wickham said Wednesday, May 20.

The staff review completed by Flint's Community and Economic Development Department says GM proposes to "construct a new body shop addition and other smaller related assembly additions to support the assembly facility.

"The construction is expected to get underway in fall of this year, with completion scheduled for December 2018," the document says.

Mayor Dayne Walling is recommending the council approve the application.

"It's a good sign GM is continuing to look at Flint for additional investments," Walling said. "It says a lot about the quality coming out of the Flint Assembly plant."

Built in 1947, Flint Assembly is a massive, 159-acre assembly plant with more than 5 million square feet of floor space.

Workers build heavy-duty Chevrolet and GMC Sierra crew and regular cab trucks, and the plant is also capable of producing light-duty Chevrolet Silverado crew and regular cab trucks, according to the company's Web site.

The 50 percent tax abatement on the proposed improvements would cost the city and other local taxing entities an estimated $1.9 million in the first year, but GM's taxes would increase $2.4 million on the facility in the same first year.

Paperwork sent to City Council members does not indicate the number of years the abatement would continue.

If GM moves forward with the work, it would mark the latest in several large investments at Flint Assembly.

In 2014, the company announced plans to spend $7.5 million to update its compressed air system and convert from steam heat to natural gas. In 2013, it announced a $600 million facility upgrade, including construction of a new paint shop.