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Mothballed GM plant may see new life

Delaware Public Media

The long shuttered former GM auto plant near Newport is back on the market.

Chinese auto parts manufacturer Wanxiang took over the facility when it bought Fisker Automotive in 2014. It’s now trying to sell the property where Fisker once promised to manufacture its hybrid electric cars before it went bankrupt.

Gov. Jack Markell (D) and Vice President Joe Biden (D) hailed Fisker as a revival of Delaware’s auto industry at the time, with the state awarding it $21.5 million in grants – little of which was recovered.

Neither Wanxiang nor real estate broker CBRE responded to requests for comment. There’s no price tag listed with the facility.

"I will never forget walking into the Boxwood Road facility just hours after the workers there got the news from GM that the plant would close down," Markell said in a statement, noting he hopes it means a brighter future for the site.

Area lawmakers also share that hope.

"Like with the STAR Campus in Newark, tech-focused redevelopment plans have the opportunity to propel our state forward and make us a regional leader in the 21st Century economy," said Senate President Pro Tem Patricia Blevins (D-Elsmere).

Rep. Larry Mitchell (D-Elsmere) said he ideally would have liked to see vehicles rolling off the assembly line, but that "...this is great news and an indication that we are on the path to having a facility employing Delaware workers on that site once again." 

The last car produced at the plant was GM’s Pontiac Solstice in 2009.