This is the Fremont, California plant which opened in 1962 as a G.M.A.D. (General Motors Assembly Division) plant. This particular facility would become the General Motors and Toyota joint venture plant after the original facility ceased production in 1982. It would reopen in 1984 as the Nummi (New United Motor Manufacturing Inc.) factory, and is now scheduled to close in March 2010. Shown on the assembly line here is a 1964 Buick Skylark just receiving it’s body being followed by a Pontiac. The car in front of the Buick is an Oldsmobile F-85.
This rather rare dust jacket (not as rare as the hardback) for the 50th anniversary book of Buick shows the locations of the B.O.P.plants in 1953.
Contrary to some written histories, here is a B.O.P. assembly plant in 1939. Most histories I have read claim 1946 – 1959 as the span in which these plants were constructed. Terry Dunham, the co author of: “The Buick: A Complete History” has corrected me pertaining to the first California B.O.P. plant. “Buick’s first production on the West Coast came out of a plant located in South Gate, California down around Los Angeles”. According to Wikipedia the South Gate plant opened in 1936 and was the second B.O.P. after the Linden, New Jersey plant. General Motors did establish the B.O.P. Sales Company in 1932. In this photo we can clearly see first, the rear quarter of a 1939 Pontiac coupe, the car receiving it’s body with the unmistakable grille is a 39 Buick, and the car after the Buick is an Oldsmobile. The Linden N.J. plant was home to GM automobile assembly operations from 1937 to 2005, they assembled nearly 9 million vehicles in its 68 year history, including Buick’s, Cadillac’s, Oldsmobile’s, Pontiac’s, the Chevrolet Blazer and the GMC Jimmy. During World War II, they produced Grumman Wildcat fighter planes. Automobile production resumed in 1946.
Just a different source of the photo below.
A 1922 look inside the Buick assembly plant #01 where the body’s are just being “cut in” with paint around the door jams and seats. Pretty much the same as today, except the seat part. The car body’s at this time would have gotten their seats in either 16-b or factory #07 on the second floor and then passed through the west bridge in the courtyard (heading south) between assembly and factory #01. Then they made the return trip to factory #06 assembly’s second floor through the east bridge of the courtyard, only this time heading north. The body’s were then lowered to the first floor to mate with their prospective chassis. As far as the seat stuffing department at any given time is anybody’s guess. Things were always moved around. In my time you never knew from year to year where any departments new location would be. The engine dress line was one that was always on the move. So if you have better information than I do, please leave a comment.
I’ve had this photo for years and never realized it was Buick in Flint. It is dated the same date as the photo below. I know I have a better copy, and will post it when I locate it. I also have another one of this same view, only the workers have changed positions. I also located the photo at the bottom of this post in the book “Our Day’s Together At Buick City”. I guess you really can’t see the forest for the tree’s. I have way to much stuff in my archives.
This addition known as 06-b built in 1915 is where I now believe this photo was taken. This is a north view between factory #06 connected on the right and #07 connected on the left. These were numbered (north to south) as 06-b, 06-c and 06-d. Factory #09 is connected at the north-end. When the photo below was taken the roofed over area at the left between #07 and #10 did not exist. This is the only addition with three floors, which is obvious this building had. The second floor was the seat stuffing department. You can see the stairs in the right background of the enhanced photo below. If this assumption is correct, that would mean in the photo below the photographer was facing south, as evidenced by the light entering through the windows in the background.
Enhanced for more background detail.
Here is the “New for 1922” 4 cylinder engine very similar to the 6 shown below.
click to enlarge This photo dated November 17, 1922 shows workers have just installed the tires. Note the different tread patterns used on the front and rear. You can also see the fixture being used to align the running boards. The only other pillars I ever saw at Buick that were round were in engineering #84 the old Part’s and Service building built between 1938-1939 and factory #05 enamel plant which were of a little bit different style. see the following link to view the 1922 body being assembled in the old W.F.Stewart plant
In this view facing directly north up Division Street we have factory #01 on the left. Then in the middle is the just completed assembly plant, bldg. #16/#40, where I first entered a General Motors factory in 1972. At the right is the old transmission plant #40. Factory #01 was constructed between 1905-1906. The original contract for construction on this building was signed on September 4, 1905. The builders were Field, Hinchman & Smith out of Detroit, Michigan. This was actually the 2nd Buick factory built in Flint, but after erecting this factory in the Oak Park Industrial Complex on Hamilton Avenue, factory #1 on east Kearsley street became factory #2. This factory covered all aspects of car assembly (truck assembly continued at Jackson) after Buick assembly moved back to Flint from Jackson, Michigan. Building #16/#40 erected between 1946-1947 replaced factory#06 constructed in 1907 which took over assembly operations previously done in factory #01. When first built this factory became part of the Unified Assembly plant #62 which came into being in 1925. Factory #40 built between 1919-1920 took over transmission assembly that had previously been done in factory #01. you can find more information at the following post’s
When General Motors first started installing these on the new 1975 Buick’s we were not prepared for the smell in the factory. They claimed in this advertisement that it was a breath of fresh air. “Actually they smelled horrible”. I was working on the chassis line in factory #04 at the time, adjacent to the final line. My partner and I thought that the foul smell was coming from another employee working next to us. Management left it up to the union rep to talk with this person, and he had a personal hygiene talk with him. After the poor guy went home to shower we still had the smell. It was finally tracked down to the (fresh air) converter. We felt pretty bad about this and apologized to our fellow worker but I’m not sure he ever accepted our stupid blunder.