Exclusive: GMI Learns of Plant Closings
GMI sources tell us which plants are on the chopping block.
April 27, 2009
Earlier this morning General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson announced additional restructuring efforts and deeper cuts across the board in a last ditch effort to avert a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. Easily the biggest news out of this morning's press conference was the confirmation that the Pontiac brand would be entirely dismantled by the end of 2010 and regardless of outside interests, the Saturn, Saab and Hummer divisions would be out of the GM product umbrella by the end of this year. Among the vast buffet of cuts Henderson announced were cuts to manufacturing; calling for more plant closures.
This morning's announcement calls for the idling or closing of six GM plants by the end of 2010, accelerated from the previous plan that called for them to be closed by 2014. A lot of speculation has surrounded which assembly plants would be on the cut list, but finally, GMI has obtained information regarding the closure of four of the six plants. To our knowledge the last two plant closures have not yet been determined by GM.
The closing/idling list:
Wilmington Assembly, Wilmington, DE (Closing Early 2010)
Wilmington has long been under heavily speculation in regards to it's future. Early last summer GMInisdenews broke news that plans for replacements of the Kappa roadsters (Saturn Sky, Pontiac Solstice, Opel GT) had been scrapped, which caused rumors of the plant's future entirely. With Saturn and Pontiac both dead brands, it only makes sense that the plant that builds almost exclusively Saturn and Pontiac products be shuttered.
Orion Assembly, Lake Orion, MI (Closing 2010)
Orion Assembly currently builds the Pontiac G6 and early last year added the Chevrolet Malibu to it's roster. Again, with the Pontiac brand dying by the end of 2010 and Fairfax, KS Assembly building as many Malibu's as needed, it is another obvious closing for GM. The recent leak of a Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) document suggesting GM's Oshawa, Ontario plant would be building an Epsilon II sedan suggested that Orion was in bumpy water.
Pontiac Assembly Center, Pontiac, MI (Closing Late 2009)
This is another GM assembly plant that has long been under a speculative future. It currently builds variants of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks. As GM shifts production from trucks to cars, this is another non-surprise.
GM's Stake in NUMMI, Fremont, CA (TBA?)
Reports are out this afternoon that GM is going to try to build another product at the Toyota joint-venture plant, but GMI sources say otherwise. According to our sources, GM's first priority in talks with Toyota is going to be to get out of the JV entirely, but if they are unable to get out of the JV with Toyota they will elect to build a non-Pontiac product there. Currently the NUMMI plant builds the Pontiac Vibe, which is based on the Toyota Corolla platform. GMI was also told that if GM ends up in bankruptcy, the NUMMI JV will be part of "BadGM" in the split of the company.
In addition to the four plants listed above, GM is currently considering the closing of two more plants. These additional two plants will eventually be closed, but apparently GM has not come to a decision on which two other plants they will be closing. As we prefer to avoid speculation, GMI has elected not to publish the list of possible closings for the remaining two slots.
Just to clarify, the first four plants have been confirmed with GMI sources as being on the closing list. Stay with GMInsidenews for the latest, as the coming weeks are going to be very filled with news regarding General Motors and it's future.