ibusinesslines.com December 17, 2018

GM closing Lordstown assembly plant, cutting 14,700 jobs in North America

27 November 2018, 10:46 | Kelvin Horton

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Congressman Bill Johnson said he was very disappointed about GM's decision to close the plant, but was hopeful for the future.

The move is the biggest change to GM since its bankruptcy ten years ago, but the carmaker faces protests from unions and Washington. In exchange for $10.8 billion of government assistance, federal and provincial governments will take a 12 per cent take of company shares. "For decades, workers have devoted their lives, working day and night, to produce some of the finest cars in the country for General Motors".

In February, the Oshawa Assembly plant starts making Light Duty GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverados in addition to Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Impala. The salaried reductions amount to 15 percent of GM's North American white-collar workforce of 54,000.

"Representative Holmes said the State Government reached out to GM about what they can do to help them bring a new vehicle to Lordstown, and will continue talks for a new product line to come to Lordstown".

Unlike Japanese automakers Nissan Motor Co Ltd, Honda Motor Co Ltd and Toyota Motor Corp, which rely on a more flexible system where they make multiple vehicles at a single plant, GM has too many factories that make just a single model.

Thousands of workers walked out of the Oshawa plant this morning in protest of the news.

Trump told reporters he was not happy with GM's decision to idle a plant in Lordstown, Ohio.

The list of assembly plants that will be "unallocated" next year includes the Oshawa factory in Ontario, Detroit-Hamtramck in MI and Lordstown in Ohio. GM, in October, said it would offer buyouts to about 18,000 salaried employees.

General Motors blamed the decision on declining sales of small and mid-sized cars and said it would focus on making more large sport-utility vehicles.

Four factories in the US and one in Canada could be closed by the end of 2019 if the automaker and its unions don't come up with an agreement to allocate more work to those facilities, GM said in a statement earlier Monday.

The company also said it will stop operating two additional factories outside North America by the end of next year, in addition to a previously announced plant closure in Gunsan, South Korea.

One of the last industrial anchors in what was once Ohio's manufacturing core is now on life support, just a little over a year after President Donald Trump told people not to leave and promised that jobs would come back to the area.

GM's North American salaried workforce, including engineers and executives, will shrink by 15 percent, or about 8,000 jobs.

Sales of Cruze, built at Lordstown, fell 27 percent through September 2018.

GM opened the Lordstown plant in the late 1960s in the southwest corner of Trumbull County. They could get new vehicles to build or close altogether.

In a tweet about MI in August he said: "Lots of auto and other companies moving back!" GM expects to spend $1 billion on Cruise this year to build the next generation of cars.

But its outlook is bleak after GM announced production of the Chevy Cruze would stop in March, halting work at the assembly plant that already had lost two shifts and 3,000 union jobs since the beginning of previous year.

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