Monday, November 21, 2005

GM to Cut 30,000 Jobs, Close 9 Plants

DETROIT - General Motors Corp. will eliminate 30,000 manufacturing jobs and close nine North American assembly, stamping and powertrain plants by 2008 as part of an effort to get production in line with demand.

The announcement Monday by Rick Wagoner, chairman and CEO of the world's largest automaker, represents 5,000 more job cuts than the 25,000 that the automaker had previously indicated it planned to cut.

GM said the assembly plants that will close are in Oklahoma City, Lansing, Mich., Spring Hill, Tenn., Doraville, Ga., and Ontario, Canada.

An engine facility in Flint, Mich., will close, along with a separate powertrain facility in Ontario and metal centers in Lansing and Pittsburgh.

Wagoner said GM also will close three service and parts operations facilities. They are in Ypsilanti, Mich., and Portland, Ore., and one unidentified site. A shift also will be removed at a plant in Moraine, Ohio.

GM has been crippled by high labor, pension, health care and materials costs as well as by sagging demand for sport utility vehicles, its longtime cash cows, and by bloated plant capacity. Its market share has been eroded by competition from Asian automakers led by Toyota Motor Corp. GM lost nearly $4 billion in the first nine months of this year.

The automaker could be facing a strike at Delphi Corp., its biggest parts supplier, which filed for bankruptcy protection last month. GM spun off Delphi in 1999 and could be liable for billions in pension costs for Delphi retirees.

GM also is under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for accounting errors.

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