Is there any hope for Janesville’s GM plant?

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Greg Peck
June 28, 2013

We can almost hear critical readers now. Here you go again. Why do you keep kicking this automaking corpse? Janesville’s General Motors plant is dead; let it rest in peace. Stop giving people false hope. Time to move on, folks; nothing to see or read here.

But as automakers hit the gas pedal on production amid surging sales, the question is bound to arise, and it’s reasonable to seek an answer. Is there any chance that GM could reopen its Janesville plant?

Across the country, auto factories are approaching peak capacity, and 2013 sales could hit 15.5 million—the most in six years. Analysts think sales could climb slowly the next five years. Amid this boom, the other two factories GM put on “standby status” during 2009 bankruptcy proceedings—Orion, Mich., and Spring Hill, Tenn.—have reopened. So is Janesville next?

In Sunday’s Gazette, business reporter Jim Leute will talk to the industry experts, and in an accompanying editorial, we’ll share our perspectives on the possibilities and how Janesville is responding with economic development efforts 4½ years after GM closed its factory here.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook

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