Report: Reuse of closed US auto plants on the rise

By JEFF KAROUB | December 8, 2011 | 10:25 AM EST

DETROIT (AP) — A new report finds about half of all U.S. automotive plants that have closed since 1979 are being reused, with much of that activity coming in the past few years.

The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based nonprofit Center for Automotive Research's report released Thursday finds that of the 267 assembly and parts plants closed during that period, 128 have found or are finding new life.

Forty percent of the sites surveyed were bought for a new use between 2008 and 2010, during which General Motors and Chrysler went through restructuring and bankruptcy reorganization.

An Associated Press analysis released in January 2010 found that of 128 major manufacturing plants in North America closed since 1980 by the Detroit Three and their largest suppliers, three of every five sat idle.