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Fisker breathes new life into idled GM plant


<p>Vice President Joe Biden told workers in Wilmington, Del., the Fisker plant is a “new chapter” in American manufacturing.</p>
<p>Photo: NANCY Z. SMITH / UAW LOCAL 435</p>

Vice President Joe Biden told workers in Wilmington, Del., the Fisker plant is a “new chapter” in American manufacturing.


Joe Biden calls it “investing in innovation.”

“While some wanted to write off America’s auto industry, we said no. We knew that we needed to do something different, in Delaware and all across the nation,” said the U.S. vice president of plans to breathe new life into the shuttered General Motors assembly plant in Wilmington.

“We understood a new chapter had to be written – a new chapter in which we strengthen American manufacturing by investing in innovation,” added Biden, former Delaware senator.

With the help of UAW lobbying efforts for advanced vehicle manufacturing and federal dollars, the plant will become a production facility for Fisker Automotive, a new American car company that plans to produce 100,000 electric hybrid vehicles per year by 2014.

“The rebirth of this idled plant is a positive and exciting step forward for this industry and a boost for the economy and for skilled automotive workers. We hope to see this happening more and more throughout the country,” said UAW Presi-

dent Ron Gettelfinger. He and Region 8 Director Gary Casteel joined Biden and Fisker executives for the Oct. 27 announcement.

Fisker’s investment in the First State is expected to create thousands of assembly and parts supplier jobs. GM’s former Wilmington assembly plant was selected for its primary global production facility based on its size, production capacity, access to shipping ports and rail lines, and skilled workforce.

Based in southern California, Fisker received a $528.7 million federal loan to help pay for a production plant and refurbishing costs to give new life to the 52-year-old facility. Also, the company says it will help support engineering integration in Michigan and California as it works with U.S. suppliers to complete the first vehicle, design tools and equipment for mass manufacturing, and develop manufacturing processes for the Wilmington plant.