|100,000th car to be built in the GM plant in Framingham. The picture is dated Feb.8, 1950|
The factory was re-purposed again in May, 1968, changing from separate Fisher Body and Chevrolet Division operations to a combined operation under the new GM Assembly Division, to produce the Chevrolet Chevelle and Pontiac Le Mans. The Buick Skylark and Oldsmobile Cutlass were added in 1970, and the Pontiac GTO was added the next year. In 1981, the Chevrolet Celebrity and Pontiac 6000 were produced, with the Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera added for the 1983 model year.
The Framingham location was the center of several contentious tug-of-wars between Governor Michael Dukakis and local politician Anthony M. Colonna. After the town refused to sell General Motors a 35-acre town owned piece of property GM desired for the construction of a new paint and plastics facility, Dukakis used the state's power of eminent domain to take the property from the town and sell it to GM so the company could construct the $224 million facility. Colonna, head of the town department public works and a powerful local politician, had desired a new, unified DPW facility to constructed on the site. After the taking, state officials and executives at GM claimed that Colonna used his political influence in the community to delay the company's expansion of the facility and drum up support against the company.
When the facility was closed, GM stated that it was due primarily to a slowdown in the economy as well as the relatively small size of the facility. However, GM spoke person Mark Leddy stated that local officials in Framingham were also partially to blame, declaring "You look at your labor climate, your relationship with the community and the quality of product being built at the plant" when explaining why the company chose to shutter the unit.
The plant was idled on October 4, 1982, with a single shift recalled on March 14, 1983. The second shift started again on December 12, 1983. The factory was closed permanently on August 1, 1989.
A small landfill formerly used by General Motors at the site still exists and is part of the "Old GM", the left over portions of the company after the 2009 bankruptcy. Racer Trust, the administrative trust overseeing the former corporate assets has the property up for sale as of June 2012, but does not expect a buyer due to the (contaminated) nature of the facility. The facility is now the location of an ADESA automobile, truck, and boat warehouse and live auction site. The company claims that the facility is the largest indoor auction house in the world, capable of housing 10,000 autos and 4,000 people.
|Map of South Framingham. Main roads are highlighted. Land owned by General Motors is at bottom center of map.|