When American taxpayers bailed out General Motors, the company was split, with the best assets going to the reorganized automaker of the same name. This new General Motors is selling cars, making money and preparing a public stock offering.
The least valuable assets, including the run-down factories in Flint, were left in the shell of the old G.M., now named the Motors Liquidation Company.
This company has filed a bankruptcy reorganization plan that lays out how it will clean up and sell off the dozens of unwanted pieces of what was once the world’s largest automaker.
But the process is slow, and while plant closings have already cost jobs and tax revenue in many communities, the empty factories themselves are now becoming a burden.
“When General Motors closed shop in Flint, they just turned the lights off,” said Chris Swanson, a captain with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department, which has made nearly two dozen arrests this year at the Flint North complex on charges of theft, assault with intent to murder and others.
Given all the crime in the area, one might wonder why local law enforcement is bothering to protect the plants G.M. has left behind.