Both of Ohio’s senators blasted GM’s decision, announced Monday, which will likely lead to the closure of the company’s Lordstown assembly plant in Warren, Ohio.
“The workers at Lordstown are the best at what they do, and it’s clear once again that GM doesn’t respect them,” Sen. Sherrod Brown said in a release. “Ohio taxpayers rescued GM, and it’s shameful that the company is now abandoning the Mahoning Valley and laying off workers right before the holidays. Even worse, the company reaped a massive tax break from last year’s GOP tax bill and failed to invest that money in American jobs, choosing to build its Blazer in Mexico.”
Sen. Rob Portman said in his own statement: “I am deeply frustrated with General Motors’ decision to shut down its Lordstown plant and disappointed with how the hardworking employees there have been treated throughout this process. During frank conversations with GM CEO Mary Barra after the announcement that GM cut a shift at the plant due to the weakening market for the Chevy Cruze, I urged her to look to the Lordstown plant for production of other vehicles and to make a public commitment to the plant and its workforce. During today’s conversation, I pressed GM again to provide new opportunities to the Lordstown workers and take advantage of the skilled workforce there.”
General Motors confirmed plans Monday to “realign” some manufacturing capacity, endangering plants in Warren, Ohio, Michigan and elsewhere.
“In the past four years, GM has refocused capital and resources to support the growth of its crossovers, SUVs and trucks, adding shifts and investing $6.6 billion in U.S. plants that have created or maintained 17,600 jobs,” the automaker said in a statement Monday. “With changing customer preferences in the U.S. and in response to market-related volume declines in cars, future products will be allocated to fewer plants next year.
“Assembly plants that will be unallocated in 2019 include: Oshawa Assembly in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada; Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly in Detroit; and Lordstown Assembly in Warren, Ohio.”
In this context, “unallocated” means GM will not allocate future models to be produced at certain plants. Such a designation will lead to the closure of a facility if a new model is not identified for production.
Warren is in Northeastern Ohio, in the Youngstown area.
In all, GM said it expects “cost savings” of $4.5 billion and a lower capital expenditure annual run rate of almost $1.5 billion.
Reports say General Motors — an automaker served by major Dayton-area manufacturers — is planning to shut down a major plant in Canada, a move that could kill 2,200 jobs and have repercussions beyond the immediate plant closure.
CBC News in Canada and Bloomberg are reporting that the automaker is on the verge of closing its plant in Oshawa, Ontario.
Also: a newspaper in Youngstown is reporting that GM could close its Lordstown, Warren, Ohio plant, which makes the Chevrolet Cruze. That closure could come in March 2019.
GM is a majority owner in the DMAX truck engine plant and is a major customer of Fuyao Glass America, both companies with plants and more than 3,000 employees combined in Moraine.
A GM spokeswoman said Monday there is no impact on DMAX from Monday’s announcement.
A question on possible implications was sent to a spokeswoman for Fuyao Glass America, which makes safety glass sets for GM and many other domestic auto producers.
In its report, Bloomberg quotes unnamed sources as well as a union in Canada.
“We have been informed that, as of now, there is no product allocated to the Oshawa assembly plant past December 2019,” Bloomberg quoted the union, Unifor, as saying in a written statement Sunday night.
A lack of a planned product was a bad sign for the former GM SUV assembly plant in Moraine in 2007 and 2008, when Dayton-area officials were concerned about the fate of that plant.
The GM-Moraine plant closed in late December 2008, putting about 1,000 workers immediately out of work. At its height, that plant employed more than 3,000 workers. Today, Fuyao Glass America occupies that facility after drastically remaking it.
The Oshawa plant employs about 2,200 people and was once one of the largest carmaking facilities in Canada. David Paterson, a spokesman for GM in Canada, declined to comment to Bloomberg.
The Oshawa plant makes the Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac XTS sedans, as well as the Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks.