Another American car company that never made it.
The younger generation of American gearheads can be forgiven for not knowing who AMC, (American Motors Corporation) was. The company, which was born from the amalgamation of Hudson, Nash-Kelvinator, Kaiser Jeep, and Willys Overland in 1954 officially became defunct in 1988 - before the Mazda Miata was even launched. In its 34 years of operations, it produced cars like the AMC AMX, AMC Eagle, AMC Javelin, and a few Jeeps like the Scrambler CJ-8, the CJ-5/7, and the Wagoneer. The last-ever AMC dealership is allegedly liquidating in 2022, but now, the last vestige of the automaker's legacy is about to be demolished. According to The Detroit News, AMC's corporate headquarters in Detroit could be demolished to "erase the ruin porn" of the city.
Mayor Mike Duggan announced on Thursday this week that the site, which has stood dormant since 2010, would likely be demolished to make way for a new $66 million employment center to bring 150 construction jobs and more than 300 permanent jobs to the city. The city has reached an agreement with NorthPoint Development to sell the city-owned land, which includes 26 residential parcels and the AMC HQ, for over $5.8 million.
Mayor Duggan called the current state of the area a "source of embarrassment" while predicting that in a couple of years, a manufacturing facility could provide employment of up to 400 people in its place. The same fate also awaits the Packard Automotive Plant, with Duggan citing this being an attempt to "get rid of the rest of the blight in this city."
Originally built in 1926 for Kelvinator appliances, when the company merged with Nash Motors, the building officially served a new purpose. Nash-Kelvinator then merged with Hudson Motors in 1954 to officially form the American Motors Corporation. AMC moved from the building in 1975, relocating to Southfield and severely angering the mayor at the time, Coleman Young, who pledged to never buy an AMC vehicle again.
Chrysler in turn bought AMC in 1987, reusing the building until 1995. Thereafter, Dodge and Jeep used the facility as an engineering center until 2009. Mayor Duggan says that "for the last 25 years, this has been nothing but an eyesore and a drain on the neighborhood."
With an estimated cost of $10 million to demolish and clean up the site, the city was unable to justify doing anything sooner due to financial constraints, hence, a deal was struck with NorthPoint Development.