GM Closes 14 Manufacturing Plants; Three Service Parts Operations

By Michelle Krebs June 1, 2009

GM Pontiac truck plant - 300.JPG By Michelle Krebs

DETROIT -- General Motors will close or idle 14 manufacturing plants and three service and parts operations as part of its bankruptcy filing.

That brings GM's U.S. assembly, powertrain and stamping facilities from 47 in 2008 to 34 by year-end 2010 and 33 by 2012. GM will reopen an unnamed, now-idled, now-closed plant to build future small cars.

Not surprisingly, the state of Michigan is hardest hit by the most closings. GM Orion plant.JPG

Closed or idled in a matter of months will be assembly plants in:

- Orion, Michigan, a relatively new plant at 20 years old that celebrated when it added Chevrolet Malibu production to the Pontiac G6, which goes away with the brand. The Malibu is also made at GM's plant in Fairfax, Kansas. The Orion plant could be re-opened and re-tooled to build future GM small cars; 

- Pontiac, Michigan, a plant that makes GM's full-size pickup trucks, for which the automaker has far too much capacity;

- Spring Hill, Tennessee, also a relatively new plant that was built as a Saturn-exclusive operation but now builds the Chevrolet Traverse. The plant will be put on standby, not permanently closed, and could build a future vehicle. Located not far outside of Nashville, the plant is in the backyard of U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, one of the harshest of GM's critics who opposed bailout of GM and Chrysler, suggesting they go through bankruptcy;

- Wilmington, Delaware, which makes the Saturn Sky and Pontiac Solstice roadsters as well as the Opel GT roadster, exported to Europe.

Powertrain plants to be closed are in: Livonia, Flint, and Willow Run, Michigan; Parma, Ohio; Fredericksburg, Virginia; and Massena, New York.  

Stamping plants to be closed are in Pontiac and Grand Rapids, Michigan; Mansfield, Ohio; and Indianapolis, Indiana. The Pontiac plant could be re-opened to supply stampings for upcoming future small cars.

The three Service and Parts Operations to close by year-end are in Boston; Jacksonville, Florida; and Columbus, Ohio.

Full Capacity Utilization

GM's goal is to achieve full capacity utilization of its assembly operations in 2011, two years ahead of what was scheduled in its February 17 viability plan submitted to the federal government. Full capacity utilization translates into lower fixed costs per vehicle sold, and lower and more efficient capital investment.

Consolidation of production will allow GM to emerge "leaner, stronger and more flexible," said Gary Cowger, group vice president of GM Global Manufacturing and Labor Relations. "Flexible manufacturing enables us to quickly respond to consumer preferences and changing market conditions."

June 1, 2009 U.S. GM Manufacturing Optimization Plan Actions

Plant

Status / Timing
(date listed or sooner depending on market demand)

Assembly

Orion, Michigan

Standby Capacity - September 2009

Pontiac, Michigan

Close - October 2009

Spring Hill, Tennessee

Standby Capacity - November 2009

Wilmington, Delaware

Close - July 2009

Stamping

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Close - June 2009 (previously announced)

Indianapolis, Indiana

Close - December 2011

Mansfield, Ohio

Close - June 2010

Pontiac, Michigan

Standby Capacity - December 2010

Powertrain

Livonia Engine, Michigan

Close - June 2010

Flint North Components, Michigan

Close - December 2010

Willow Run Site, Michigan

Close - December 2010

Parma Components, Ohio

Close - December 2010

Fredericksburg Components, Virginia

Close - December 2010

Massena Castings, New York

Closed - May 1, 2009 (previously announced)

Service & Parts Operations (SPO)
Warehousing & Parts Distribution Centers

Boston, Massachusetts

Close - December 31, 2009

Jacksonville, Florida

Close - December 31, 2009

Columbus, Ohio

Close - December 31, 2009

Source: GM

Photos by GM

1 - A plant in Pontiac, Michigan, that makes full-size GM trucks will close by October.

2 - GM's Orion, Twp., Michigan, plant celebrated when the Chevrolet Malibu was added to its line, but with the demise of the Pontiac brand and the G6 the plant makes, the plant will be idled by September, but could have new life making a future small car.

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