• Jun 3rd 2008 at 10:23AM
  • 101
At the General Motors annual meeting in Delaware today, CEO Rick Wagoner will be publicly announcing the latest restructuring round for the beleaguered automaker. In response to plummeting sales of large trucks, GM will close down four more North American Assembly plants by 2010. The plants in Janesville, Wisconsin, Oshawa Ontario, Moraine, Ohio, and Toluca, Mexico are already running reduced production schedules and will cease operations entirely as products are discontinued or shifted to other plants. The Janesville plant builds medium trucks and SUVs while Moraine builds the old body on frame Trailblazer, GMC Envoy and Saab 9-7x SUVs. The other plants build full-size pickup trucks. The closures affect 10,000 employees at those plants. Those that aren't among the 19,000 who are taking buyouts will be offered transfers to other locations to fill spaces vacated by the departing workers. The closures are expected to save GM about $1 billion a year.

Wagoner will also be announcing that GM has begun a strategic review of the HUMMER brand. We contacted GM spokesperson Joanne Krell this morning who told us that the review has just begun and there is no time frame for a decision. "The HUMMER brand is a great brand and we're probably not maximizing it to its fullest. Perhaps somebody else would have that opportunity." All options are being considered including "ramping up the portfolio," shutting the brand down or "selling it in whole or in part." At this point, GM has not had any discussions with other manufacturers about the possibility of a sale, which won't happen until the review is completed.

On the positive side of things, the board of directors has approved production of a new small Delta platform car (the eventual Cobalt replacement) at the Lordstown, OH assembly plant next year. The Chevrolet Volt has also been approved for production in 2010 at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant. Thanks to Craig and Matthew for the tips!

[Sources: Chicago Tribune, General Motors]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wagoner’s “success” at GM has been the automaker’s greatest failure– at least in the last decade.Under Red Ink Rick's rule; stockholder and employees have watched GM’s North American market share slide some ten percentage points.They've seen the company shed tens of billions of dollars of stockholder value– and lose tens of billions of dollars. He’s sold everything that wasn't nailed down and pissed away the future of millions of American workers; all while lining his pockets and securing a bankruptcy-proof pension.
      Time to move on, and take Putz with you
      • 7 Years Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Why would you shed Saturn? This is just silly talk. "

      Because it hasn't made any profit since the start and sucks money from the other divisions that stalls refresh of product.

      Change the Saturn dealers to Opel dealers, sell the entire Opel line and be done with it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I feel like this is a good decision and gives me more hope for the GM brands. Especially since this tidbit comes on the heels of announcements about releasing more small cars with efficient engines.

      But I also feel like there are many things that could happen that would make it a bad decision (UAW Whineyness, Gas prices suddenly dropping, said small cars being bad)...

      I guess time will tell, and that all people will maintain their current opinion of GM.
        • 7 Years Ago
        We need to all understand that when the commodity exchange rules were changed (~2005) that allowed investment banks, pension funds and hedge funds to invest in commodities it caused wild speculation, and with large amounts of cash, market manipulation. Also, it is currently possible to purchase a barrel of oil for 16:1 margin (cost only $7.80 for a $125 barrel of oil futures).

        Actually if you look at the 1929 crash it was speculating with borrowed money is what caused the crash.

        Will GM change its tune when the oil bubble bursts? All we have to do is look at the 1970’s to find that we as a nation have a short term memory problem when it comes to oil. (if we do not crash before then).


        1. Ignore the hedge fund managers, investment banks and oil men that are getting on the news and “predicting $XXX oil”. They all have lots of money riding on oil continuing its rise.
        2. Research http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amaranth_Advisors and see how the price of natural gas was manipulated by one hedge fund and use your creativity to see how this applies to other commodities.
        3. Research how the price of oil dropped by $4 the same day that the CFTC announced an investigation in oil price manipulation.
        4. When the bubble bursts, do not forget that this will all happen again unless the commodity market protections that were put into place in the early 1930’s are reinstated and the ability to leverage or margin is no longer allowed.
        5. Form now on be as energy efficient as possible in your daily life to minimize the impact when the next market is manipulated.

        • 7 Years Ago
        I 100% agree with your assessment. I give GM credit for having massive gonads to cut the part of the business that they do the best (trucks, large SUVS) but aren't economically the best sector right now.

        Drastic times call for drastic measures.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yeah this whole oil thing is a huge illusion. There's plenty around for everyone all 6 billion of us.
        If is a bubble everything else is too. Housing, technology, comic books etc.
        There is speculation but I think that every other asset will crumble around it before oil falls below $110
      • 7 Years Ago
      *Treehuggers rejoice*
        • 7 Years Ago
        At least there will still be bulldozers to make St. Pancakes out of the hippies.

        However, as much as I will miss Hummer, every drop of gas saved is one less dollar sent to Saudi Barbaria.

        In the end, I think everyone wins, not just hippies.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think cutting the H3 and all variants, reduce H2 production, and work on a small concept, would be the right move. The H3 is an aim at the masses, while the H2 is more of a niche car/status symbol. They could reduce the H2's production to Nintendo-Wii-shortage-demand levels, and just continue/start work on a small, fuel efficient concept. I think this would be a smarter move than hastily selling or cutting the brand entirely.

      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't think Gm will kill Hummer after all the the money they spent to get it, most likely downsize it or sell it to M&M who wanted Jeep.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'd love to see the fall of GM!
        • 7 Years Ago
        be careful for what you wish for CDN Crockett, just having the duopoly of "toyonda" in the US and Canada. Unless Carlos Ghosn stike back where he had left 2 years ago when "Captain Kirk" Kerkorian approached him.
        • 7 Years Ago
        unfortunately you'll wish will be granted but it will not be a happy one. Your tax dollars will be hard at work this year bailling these guys out.
          • 7 Years Ago
          Tim...we get it. You HATE GM.

          Also, you complain about how tax payers will have to bail them out. I doubt it.

          You know, if you want to complain, why not complain about all the people on Welfare that don't need it or those who suck money out of the government, when they to, don't need it.

          Oh and look up how much the American population pays for Wal-Mart...

          You know, people like you have been "predicting" GM's demise for a few years now. Still hasn't happened.
      • 7 Years Ago
      GM selling Hummer!? GM does not own Hummer. Hummer is owned by AM General with the marketing rights owned by GM.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Hay guess wut

        AM General is an American Motors leftover owned by GM.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I wish Hummer was never purchased by GM. I liked AM General Hummer when they built the wagon, 4 man hardtop, 4 man softtop, and the 2 man hardtop. It was exclusive and built in low numbers. I remember when I would see as few Hummers as I did Diablos.
      • 7 Years Ago
      HUMMER is the only brand GM could sell to another company that would actually be worth something. The rest of GM's brands have close to zero value to anyone else but GM becuase of how horribly mismanaged they have been. HUMMER is also GM's only real unique brand as well, it does something only it can do. Much like Jeep to Chrysler. If GM didn't have so many brands selling trucks they wouldn't need a "strategic review" of HUMMER in the first place, nor would CAFE kill off all the cars we were looking forward to from the company. GM is a morass of a business case and it's the management that has put the company in this predicament.
      • 7 Years Ago
      You know, I don't even hate Hummers for their gas mileage as much as the fact that they're huge freakin' traffic hazards. You can't see a damn thing around them, or even what color the light is in front of you.
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