Thursday, April 23, 2009

GM to shut many U.S. plants up to 9 weeks

WkRN Channel 2 News April 22, 2009 06:37 PM CDT Automaker General Motors will close most of its plants nationwide this summer for up to nine weeks because of slumping sales and growing inventories of unsold vehicles. While the exact dates of the shutdowns were not known, they will be part of the normal two-week closure in July to change from one model year to the next. The closures are expected to be staggered from Mid-May to Mid-July. GM has not said which assembly plants will be impacted.The company may not make an official announcement until Friday, but workers will be informed first. Thousands of employees could be laid off, but would still receive most of their pay. The summer closures could have a huge impact in Middle Tennessee. GM operates an assembly plant in Spring Hill. The plant employs around 3,400 workers and makes the Chevy Traverse. The facility underwent a nearly $700 million upgrade two years ago and is one of GM's newer plants. Spring Hill employees already lost many weeks of work. The plant shut down before Christmas and didn't reopen until February 2009. GM's decision to close some of its plants could also impact about 16,000 employees at a plant in Warren, Michigan, and another plant in Lordstown, Ohio which employs about 2,700 workers.The shutdown could also have devastating effects for auto parts suppliers already near bankruptcy because of previous production cuts. GM is living on $13.4 billion in government loans and faces a June 1 deadline to restructure or seek bankruptcy protection. Stay tuned to News 2 for updates on this developing story

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