General Motors to close Lordstown plant

Oshawa's General Motors car assembly plant

The restructuring reflects changing North American auto markets as manufacturers continue to shift away from cars toward SUVs and trucks. That figure was about 50 percent cars just five years ago. But the restructuring is also about making cars people want now. Some will take buyouts while others will be laid off.

General Motors is closing five production plants in the USA and Canada, but it looks like the company's Arlington plant is still going at full speed.

Almost 4,000 jobs were lost when, in late 2005, GM announced the closure of Oshawa's No. 2. plant and the elimination of a shift at the No. 1 plant.

General Motors had signalled some of its plans previously.

Closing the factories, eliminating workers and discontinuing certain vehicles is expected to save approximately $6 billion. The company estimates that the cuts will save it $6 billion by the end of 2020. The firm said it would name the two additional global plants set for closure later.

"In contrast to times past, General Motors, under CEO Mary Barra, is trying to get ahead of a potential crisis by making cuts now", said Michelle Krebs, executive analyst at Autotrader.

"This is a warning and we all must be concerned about protecting jobs and keeping them in this country".

The company said the changes were the results of shifts in consumer demand, with SUV and pickup truck sales increasing while sedan sales stall. "They told me straight up there's nothing we can do", he said.

The closures and layoffs follow similar moves by other big USA automakers as the industry adjusts to lower consumer demand for passenger cars. After we are sworn in, Jon Husted and I will be visiting the Detroit Auto Show in January to make our case in-person to GM about the future of the plant.

GM said it will close three North American auto assembly plants next year: the Oshawa plant in Ontario, Canada; Hamtramck in Detroit, Michigan and Lordstown in Warren, Ohio.

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"I can't believe our president would allow this to happen", she said Monday. He called the decision "absolutely devastating", and the broadcaster reported that thousands of workers at the Ontario plant stopped working Monday.

"Everything is up in the air", she said. I spend more time around them than my own family.

According to GM's website, the Oshawa Assembly Plant employs 2,522 workers with Unifor Local 222.

Barra is reducing staff from operations that make conventional cars and hiring people who can design electric cars or add software prowess to GM Cruise, the automaker's autonomous vehicle unit in San Francisco.

"They're gone. They're done", he said of GM. The Chevrolet Cruze is built at the Trumbull County complex.

Those workers were told this morning that production will end on March 1, and there was no mention of another product being made at the plant.

The plant in Lordstown, Ohio, which makes the Chevrolet Cruze compact vehicle also is on the list, and Barra said the Cruze would no longer be sold in the U.S. Production would stop March 1. Two transmission plants - one in White Marsh, Md., and another in Warren, Mich. - are also set to stop production.

"The news was gut-wrenching, it reminds of the late 70's Black Monday", State Representative Glenn Holmes said, "The plant has done everything it has been asked". Now the full-electric Chevrolet Bolt can go up to 238 miles on a single charge. They have an 11-month-old at home. The U.S. plants are in places that have been economically devastated by job losses and pressure on wages for decades, which helped lead to the 2016 election of Donald Trump as U.S. president. "It's hard, it's frightful".

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

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