From Frigidaire to Fuyao: How this vital jobs complex has changed over 60-plus years

Many manufacturing giants have come and gone from the Dayton area over the past 50 years. The last to go was General Motors Moraine Assembly in 2008.

But that was just one twist in the story of a facility that has been extremely important to the region.

Frigidaire Assembly Plant in Moraine before it became a General Motors assembly plant. Photo from the 1950s
Photo: Staff Photo

It all started with General Motors subsidiary Frigidaire, which manufactured appliances in Moraine from 1951-79. Two years later, GM was producing Chevy S-10 pickup trucks in the plant. 

New Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck roll down the assembly line in 1981, shortly after production of the trucks started at the GM Moraine assembly plant. Photo by Skip Peterson
Photo: HANDOUT/Skip Peterson

Between 1981 and 2008, more than six million vehicles were built at Moraine Assembly. 

11-21-05 -- Sport Utility Vehicles fill the parking lots surrounding the General Motors Moraine Assembly Plant in Moraine, Ohio. GM announced on Monday that it will close nine plants as part of a major North American restructuring. The third shift at the Moraines Assembly Plant will be eliminated some time next year. Photo by Ty Greenlees/Newschopper 7
Photo: Ty Greenlees/Newschopper 7/Ty Greenlees

GM Moraine Assembly was closed permanently on December 23, 2008, and 2,400 workers lost their jobs. 

In October 2015, Fuyao Glass America began producing automobile glass in 1.4 million square feet of the former GM Moraine building. The site now employs more than 2,000 workers. 

8-1-17 -- Aerial view of Fuyao Glass America located in the former General Motors Assembly Plant in Moraine. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Photo: Ty Greenlees

Fuyao is the largest auto glass manufacturer in the world and has the capacity to make eight million sets of auto glass per year. 

RELATED: Fuyao continues growth

10-3-16 -- Fuyao Glass America has progressed at a pace that is years ahead of its original schedule and now employs more than 2,000 people. Dustin Sparkman, left, and Deraesha Stewart work as a team to clean and quality check windshields in the Moraine plant.. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Photo: Ty Greenlees