Going, going, gone: GM’s oldest plant on auction block 

by | Apr 16, 2018 | 0 comments

By the end of April, what was General Motors’ oldest North American facility will echo with little more than the auctioneer’s gavel.

Built in 1919, the 4.8 million-square-foot Janesville assembly plant was GM’s oldest plant in North America prior to its closing in April 2009 and its more recent sale to Commercial Development Company.

The plant formed a central part of the Janesville economy and, by extension, Wisconsin’s. It’s closure has been regularly used as an example of the destruction of the U.S. manufacturing base. It has been a whistle stop for virtually every U.S. presidential candidate, in good times and bad.

It employed around 7,000 workers at its peak in 1970, but was down to about 1,200 when it ceased production of GM vehicles in December 2008.

The plant had a rocky past. Initially the Samson Tractor Division plant employing 3,000 workers the division went brankrupt in 1920 as the farm depression took hold. GM was convinced to move truck manufacturing there from Flint, and began Chevrolet vehicle production there in 1923. The Fischer Body facility was built adjacent to the facility starting that same year.

At its height in 1969, the Janesville facility employed some 7100 workers and built 274,286 cars and 114,681 trucks.

Among the models built there most recently were the Suburban, Tahoe, and Yukon, but the Chevrolet Cavalier can also be counted among those that rolled off the assembly line.

The sale is the next phase of the site’s decommissioning and redevelopment, which began in 2018 after GM finalized the facility’s sale.

All equipment and machinery situated at the former General Motors’ (GM) Janesville facility will be sold in a four-day online auction beginning on April 23rd.

The auction is being conducted by Professional Industrial Appraisal LLC (PIA), an Indiana-based appraisal and asset recovery project firm. The firm has more than 35 years’ experience providing total asset evaluation for commercial and industrial businesses.

To enable online bidding, PIA is hosting the sale on AUCTO.COM, an industrial equipment marketplace and auction platform. Beginning on Monday April 23rd, the auction will span four days, with each sale starting at 10 a.m. (CDT). Interested buyers are invited to register on www.aucto.com to participate in the auction.

Featured equipment includes:

  • Day one: 300+ ABB IRB 6400 Robots
  • Day two: electrical controls, PLCs and drives, and transformers
  • Day three: pumps, motors, spare parts, and tanks
  • Day four: plant support, overhead cranes, and shop equipment

For a listing of each sale’s catalog, click here.




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