General Motors plans to shutter seven factories worldwide by the end of 2019; four factories in the US, one in Canada and two overseas if the manufacturer and its unions don’t finalise an agreement to allocate more work to the factories. The four plants in the USA are a political hot potato for president Donald Trump, who has recently thrown his weight behind automaker health as a bellwether for the Rust Belt economy.
Trump told reporters on Monday that had some robust negotiations with GM CEO Mary Barra on Sunday night. “Very tough,” he said. Trump was particularly incensed about the potential closure of the Lordstown plant in Ohio, after claiming in a rally in nearby Youngstown last year that he would revitalise the local economy with massive job boosts. "They're all coming back," he said. "Don't move. Don't sell your house."
En route to a campaign stop in Mississippi yesterday, Trump told reporters, “I think you’re going to see something else happen there, but I’m not happy about it. I have no doubt that in a not too distant future they’ll put something else. They better put something else in.”
The closures come as GM announced increased profits and sounds the death knell for Chevy’s Volt, Cruze and Impala lines. In effect, Barra is stealing a page from the Ford playbook, shifting the production emphasis from passenger cars to SUVs and pickups. Chevrolet Camaro production at the Lansing, Michigan plant is unaffected, safeguarding Australian imports through HSV.
Here’s a snapshot of each of the North American plants.
Lordstown (Ohio) Assembly
Employment: 1,435 hourly
Product: Chevrolet Cruze
2018 YTD Production (10 mos): 121,666, up 14 percent
Detroit-Hamtramck (Michigan) Assembly
Employment: 1,348 hourly
Products: Chevrolet Volt, Chevrolet Impala, Cadillac CT6, Buick LaCrosse
2018 YTD Production: 53,461, down 35 percent
Warren (Michigan) Transmission
Employment: 265 hourly
Product: car/crossover transmission, hybrid electric drive units
Baltimore (Maryland) Operations
Employment: 253 hourly
Product: truck transmissions
Oshawa (Ontario) Assembly outside Toronto, Canada
Employment: 2,522 hourly
Products: Chevrolet Impala, Cadillac XTS, Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra
2018 YTD Production: 55,973, down 60 percent
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