GM to Shut Louisiana Plants by 2012

The bankrupt company confirms plans to close its assembly and stamping plants in Shreveport no later than June 2012.

by on Jun.24, 2009

May 2005: HUMMER H3 from Shreveport arrrives at Orr HUMMER

It's probably just a question of time before the Chinese move Hummer tooling home.

GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson said Wednesday that the company filed documents late Tuesday in U.S. bankruptcy court in New York saying the Shreveport complex, employing 950 people, had been assigned to the old GM.

Shreveport had previously been left off the list of old plants not needed because GM was still in the midst of negotiations for the sale of Hummer to Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company.

The deal with the Chinese truck makers is expected to close in the third quarter, subject to court and regulatory approvals.

Members of UAW Local 2166 assemble the H3T, the first midsize pick-up truck from HUMMER that carves out a new niche in the truck market.

Members of UAW Local 2166 assemble the H3T, the first midsize pick-up truck from Hummer that was supposed to create a new niche in the market.

As part of the deal, GM has agreed to continue building the H3 and HT for the successor company until 2012.

GM will also halt production of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon built there by the summer of 2012.

Wilkinson was careful not to say GM was dropping out of the compact truck market. “We’re not saying where those will go,” he said. “We’re not saying what the next step is,” (for mid-sized pick up trucks) he said. “It’s a fairly complex issue,” he said.

Subscribe to TheDetroitBureau.comMeanwhile, union officials at the plant, who thought they had dodged a deadly bullet three weeks ago when GM filed its original bankruptcy petition, said they were in shock.

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The plant might even close sooner, depending upon market demand for GM vehicles.

In a related bankruptcy move, GM is also moving ahead with another round of early retirement and buyouts among its salaried employees in the United States. GM current retirement plans call for eliminating about 4,000 additional salaried jobs by October 1st.

Some involuntary cuts could be required if GM doesn’t get enough volunteers to accept the buyouts, Wilkinson said.

GM had 29,650 salaried jobs at the start of 2009. Last February GM said it planned to reduce the number of salaried employees to 26,000. The new buyouts intended to trim the total further to about 23,500.

“These are some additional cutbacks that were part of the update viability plan,” Wilkinson said. GM plans to trim the number of executive positions by about 35%, to about 850.

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