The UAW and General Motors Presence in Genesee County Michigan

Flint Road Cart Factory / Durant-Dort Carriage Factory No. 1 / Factory One

303 W. Water St., Flint, Mich. 48503

Built in 1880 by the Flint Woolen Mills as a woolen mill, this building was leased by  Billy Durant and JD Dort in 1886. They opened the Flint Road Cart Company that later became the Durant-Dort Carriage Company. They were one of the largest carriage builders in the world.

In 1917 as demand for carriages decreased, the building was transformed into an auto production facility for the Dort Motor Company. Dort Motor went out of business in 1924.

In later years the building housed a paper company, wholesale grocery, stationary company, office space, an antique mall, and was a furniture warehouse. In 2013 General Motors bought the building and restored it turning it into a research facility.

General Motors traces it’s history back to Durant and Dort who are considered its founding fathers.
Buick Motor Division

Buick’s first location was on W Kearsley St where Chevrolet Manufacturing was located. In 1908, a new plant was opened on Hamilton Ave and Buick moved there. Buick’s Flint location was General Motors largest complex in the world.
Over time, the site held plants that manufactured parts, motors and transmissions. In addition to an assemble plant and the location of Buick’s world headquarters.

The last plant, GM Powertrain and Flint North closed in 2010.

Workers at Buick were represented by UAW Local 599, 812 Leith St, Flint, Michigan 48505.
AC Spark Plug Division

In 1904 Albert Champion moved to Flint from France. He had been a bicycle and motorcycle racer in France, who also made spark plugs on the side. In 1908 with support form Buick, he began the AC Spark Plug Company. In 1927 General Motors bought out the company.

AC world headquarters were located on Dort Highway in Flint. They maintained production facilities on Dort Highway, Industrial Avenue and Center Road. 

Workers at AC were represented by UAW Local 651, 3518 Robert T Longway Blvd, Flint, MI 48506.
Chevrolet Motor Division (Chevy in the hole) assembly plant

In 1913 Chevrolet opened an engine, a pressed metal and an assembly plant on Wilcox Street (Chevrolet Ave today). Fisher Body also maintained a plant here that later became Chevrolet Plant 2A.

This site was originally the Flint Wagon Works and later Buick before Chevrolet took it over.

Only two of the plants still exist today. Plant 38, a Die and Tooling plant, located at 425 Stevenson St. Flint, MI 48504. And Building 35, which was donated to Kettering University, located on Chevrolet Avenue. 

This site is represented by UAW Local 659. 4549 Van Slyke Rd, Flint, MI 48507
Flint Assembly Division/Flint Truck Assembly

G 3100 Van Slyke Road, Flint, MI 48551

Known as the truck plant, it opened in 1947 for car ans truck assembly. Today they only assembly Silverado Heavy Duty pickups.

The pant is represented by UAW Local 598. 3293 Van Slyke Rd, Flint, MI 48507
Flint Frame and Stamping Plant/Flint Metal Center/Flint Metal Fabrication Div.

G-2238 Bristol Road, Flint, MI 48550

Opened in 1954. This stamping plant made numerous body panels and frames for General Motors.

This site is represented by UAW Local 659. 4549 Van Slyke Rd, Flint, MI 48507
Flint V8 Engine Plant/Flint Engine South

2100 Bristol Road, Flint, MI 48552

The original building was opened in 1953. In 199 it was demolished and a new plant was build that opened in 2002.

This site is represented by UAW Local 659. 4549 Van Slyke Rd, Flint, MI 48507
Autoburn/National Parts Distribution/Service Parts Operations

3406 S Dye Rd, Swartz Creek, MI 48473

Opened in 1957. The plant is a warehousing plant for service parts. The main office is on Bristol Road.

This site is represented by UAW Local 659. 4549 Van Slyke Rd, Flint, MI 48507
Service Parts Operations World Headquarters

6200 Grand Pointe Drive, Grand Blanc, Michigan

Located off Hill Road in Grand Blanc, this building was the home to GM’s parts division. Now known as Customer Care 
And Aftersales. Opened in the late 1990s. In March of 2021 it was announced that the headquarters was moving to Warren Michigan. Current rumors are that the GM Heritage Center will be moving into this building.

If any hourly employees worked at this location, they would have been represented by UAW Local 659. 4549 Van Slyke Rd, Flint, MI 48507.
Davison Road Processing Center

4134 Davison Road, Burton, Michigan 48509

Opened 2008, this facility is part of the Customer Care And Aftersales division

Workers are represented by UAW Local 651, 3518 Robert T Longway Blvd, Flint, MI 48506.
Fisher Body Division Flint Plant #1

4098 Saginaw St, Flint, MI 48557

The original site of the Flint Sit-Down strike, GM bought the plant from Durant Motors sometime before 1935. It was built around 19+20.

Workers were represented by UAW Local 581, 4425 Saginaw St, Flint, MI 48507
Fisher Body Division Flint Plant #2

G 3100 Van Slyke Road, Flint, MI 48551

Opened in 1947 on Van Slyke Road next to the assembly plant, this plant was absorbed by the assembly plant in 1970. It made car bodies and is best known as the location where the first year Corvette was made. Due it’s smaller work force and the corporations moving of tooling, labor problems were constant until it was absorbed.

This site was represented by UAW Local 659. 4549 Van Slyke Rd, Flint, MI 48507
Fisher Body Division Grand Blanc Plant/Grand Blanc Weld Tool Center

10800 S Saginaw St, Grand Blanc, MI 48439

Originally built in 1942 to supply tanks for WWII, the plane was later converted to car production. At that time a press room was added on for stamping body panels. In 2004 parts production ended and the plant was converted to build weld tooling for the corporation. In 2013 the plant closed is now being used as a warehouse. 

This site was represented by UAW Local 1292. 6153 Dort Hwy. Grand Blanc, MI 48439
Ternstedt Division Coldwater Road Plant

1245 East Coldwater Road

Build in 1953 to produce aircraft engines for Buick during the Korean War. It became a hardware manufacturer under General Motors Ternstedt Division.

Over the years the name changed often: Fisher Body, Fisher Guide, Inland Fisher, Delphi and finaly Peregrine. In 1998 it was closed.

This site was represented by UAW Local 326. 1272 E Coldwater Rd, Flint, MI 48505
UAW Region 1D

1940 W Atherton Rd, Flint, MI 48507

This region was originally 1C, but as membership dropped some regions were merged and 1C became 1D. 
Per the UAW web site: “Region 1D represents the diverse UAW workers in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and the central, western and northern portions of the Lower Peninsula. Region 1D represents GM plants in Flint and Lansing, Michigan, and Saginaw Metal Casting Operations. Members of Region 1D also include clerical and technical workers at Northern Michigan University, technicians and service personnel at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Michigan, and office professionals at Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.”

Behind the buildings location is the home of Sitdowners Park (1901 Executive Plaza Dr, Flint, MI 48507). While over the years it might have obtained a few too many memorials, its till is worth a visit to see the rich heritage there.

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