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STERLING HEIGHTS, MI-General Motors is gathering together the best of its past–and the best of its current operations–and showcasing them in a new archive to be located in suburban Detroit. The 81,000-sf GM Heritage Center is planned to officially open later this month.

When completed, the center will hold more than 180 vehicles and reams of what manager Greg Wallace calls “two-dimensional” history–service manuals, marketing plans, sales documents and other items from recent years and GM’s earliest days. The opening of the Heritage Center is an early step in the preparations for the 100th anniversary of the world’s largest automaker. General Motors was founded in 1908.

“As GM prepares to celebrate our 100th anniversary in 2008, the GM Heritage Center will play a key role in showcasing the company’s rich history of success and linking it our future aspirations and accomplishments,” says Thomas Kowaleski, GM vice president of communications. The new facility is located off Mound, just south of Metro Pkwy.

The center generally won’t be open to the general public, except for the occasional special event, but is geared to company researchers, analysts, historians and other professionals. Wallace says the company may also use it for some internal functions, such as meeting with dealership groups.

“This won’t be just a museum, filled with old things,” Wallace says. “This will feature the best and most important items from long ago and today. It will be geared toward helping people access our history.”

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