Wixom Assembly Plant

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Wixom Assembly plant

The Ford Wixom Assembly Plant, now known as the Ford Renewable Energy Park, is a former Ford Motor Company automobile assembly plant in Wixom, Michigan, United States.

Ford years[edit]

The Wixom assembly plant was one of Ford's largest and oldest manufacturing sites. It opened April 15, 1957, and was ultimately expanded to encompass 4.7 million square feet, and replaced the former Lincoln Motor Company Plant located at 6200 West Warren Avenue (at Livernois).[1] Over the plant's 50 years of operation it produced 6,648,806 automobiles.[2] The last car produced was a white chocolate Lincoln Town Car which rolled off the line at 12:55pm on May 31, 2007.[3]

During its long history, the plant was mainly used for the manufacture of Lincolns and the Ford Thunderbird. The Lincoln Town Car and the Ford GT were also produced there. Production of the Lincoln LS ended in early April 2006[4] and production of the Ford GT stopped on September 21,[5] leaving the Town Car as the plant's final product.

Wixom was the most profitable plant in the industry during the 1980s when Cadillac downsized its lineup and lost ground to Lincoln. Due to Lincoln's falling sales, Ford announced on January 23, 2006 that the Wixom plant would be idled in 2007 as part of The Way Forward. Some analysts argued that the plant might not be closed. A report in The Oakland Press stated, "The fate of the Wixom plant, however, will depend on the shape of Ford's future product plan, which seems to be currently in flux." Michigan governor, Jennifer Granholm, reportedly offered $115 million in tax cuts to keep the plant open. The plant was nonetheless idled in 2007, and by mid-June 2008, while Ford was able to find buyers for other idled plants, Wixom remained unsold.[6] In 2013, the Baidas family (owners and operators of General RV Center) sought and were awarded mixed use zoning permits for a portion of the old Wixom property. In 2014 the family broke ground on 33 acres of the old Ford Wixom property to build a new corporate headquarters and RV Dealership.

Products:

Energy Park[edit]

It was announced in August 2009 that the former Ford Wixom plant would be converted to a green energy production plant with an initial investment of $725 million. The potential investment is expected to exceed $1 billion if the project develops. Two separate companies, Xtreme Power and Clairvoyant Energy will redevelop the factory and hire a combined 4,000-plus employees. The two companies plan on occupying half of the factory, with the goal that the other half will be occupied by other alternative energy companies.[7] When the project is completed it will be the largest renewable energy park in the United States.[8]

As of August, 2010 all parties, Xtreme Power, Clairvoyant Energy, Ford and the State of Michigan, were still on board with the Energy Park plan. The energy companies are waiting for the federal government to approve interim loan guarantees to begin construction. Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm said, "There's been a great effort to partner with the federal government on investment, but that application process is often very cumbersome," and added "So streamlining that, I think, has got to be the next step for the federal government in continuous improvement." Currently, Ford is working to dismantle the inside of the former automobile factory in preparation for the energy park. As of 12/7/12, the Ford plant is being torn down. General RV Center's new headquarters and a Menards outlet will be built on the site.

The plant has been completely removed as of July 2013. In July, 2014, construction began for the new Menards.

Shooting[edit]

On November 14, 1996 the Wixom assembly plant was the site of a deadly shooting. A lone gunman, who was not a Ford employee but had dated an employee at the Wixom plant, randomly shot and killed a manager of the factory. According to police, the shooter hid from authorities for several hours by remaining in a series of drain tunnels outside of the plant. Several Ford employees and two Oakland County sheriff deputies were also shot and wounded by the gunman.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Historic timeline: Wixom Assembly Plant". Media.Ford.com. May 31, 2007. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  2. ^ "Fact sheet: Wixom Assembly Plant". Media.Ford.com. May 31, 2007. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  3. ^ "Production ends at Wixom Assembly Plant, Lincoln Town Car moves to St. Thomas". Media.Ford.com. May 31, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  4. ^ "Lincoln LS run will end". LeftLaneNews. April 3, 2006. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  5. ^ "Shelby GT500 claims Ford performance torch – with new TV commercial - as Ford GT ends its run". Media.Ford.com. September 8, 2006. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  6. ^ Brent Snavely and Alex P. Kellogg. (June 13, 2008). "Ford sells off its 2nd closed plant in week". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2008-08-17. [dead link]
  7. ^ Christoff, Chris (August 27, 2009). "New plan for Wixom plant a step closer to final deal". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  8. ^ Rogers, Christina (September 10, 2009). "Closed Ford Wixom plant chosen as site for $725M renewable energy park". Detroit News. Retrieved 2009-09-10. 
  9. ^ "Jury Rejects Insanity Defense of Gunman". Los Angeles Times. April 21, 1998. Retrieved 2010-10-22. 

Coordinates: 42°30′14″N 83°32′27″W / 42.50389°N 83.54083°W / 42.50389; -83.54083