General Motors closing 4 plants in North America
AP Auto Writer
WILMINGTON, Del. ” General Motors is closing four truck and SUV plants in the U.S., Canada and Mexico as surging fuel prices hasten a dramatic shift to smaller vehicles.
CEO Rick Wagoner said Tuesday before the automaker’s annual meeting in Delaware the plants to be closed are in Oshawa, Ontario; Moraine, Ohio; Janesville, Wis.; and Toluca, Mexico. He also said the iconic Hummer brand will be reviewed and potentially sold or revamped.
Wagoner said the GM board has approved production of a new small Chevrolet car at a plant in Lordstown, Ohio, in mid-2010 and the Chevy Volt electric vehicle in Detroit.
Wagoner announced the moves in response to slumping sales of pickups and SUVs brought on by high oil prices. He said a market shift to smaller vehicles is permanent.
GM shares rose 25 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $17.69 in morning trading.
The cuts will affect about 2,500 workers at each of the four facilities, although Wagoner did not know exact numbers. Many will be able to take openings created when 19,000 more U.S. hourly workers leave later this year through early retirement and buyout offers.
He said the company has no plans to allocate products to the four plants in the future.
“We really would not foresee the likely prospect of new products in the plants that we’re announcing today that we’ll cease production in,” he told a Moraine, Ohio, city official who asked a question in a telephone conferen