Two weeks from now, General Motors will start running its Fairfax assembly plant continuously on a permanent basis. The unprecedented around-the-clock operation, following on the heels of the temporary third shifts a few months ago, is intended to boost the plant's production from its current 4,500 vehicles per week to 6,300 units over the same period.
It's hardly unexpected given recent gloomy sales numbers, but General Motors announced today that they will be cutting shifts at several North American plants. Unfortunately, nearly 2,000 workers will lose their jobs in the process as GM eliminates its third shift to slow production and ease the backlog of vehicles sitting on dealer lots. The affected plants are Orion, Michigan; Oshawa, Ontario; and Lordstown, Ohio (these plants manufacture the Chevrolet Malibu, Pontiac G6, Chevrolet Impala, Che
GM is still dancing with the UAW over contract issues, now its doing it with local plants regarding items that weren't in the national agreement. However, The General has managed to wring two more days to negotiate before workers at its Fairfax assembly plant in Kansas City, KS, walk out. The 2,600 workers of UAW Local 31 churn out 3,100 Malibus every week.
UPDATE: We've learned that the UAW contract disputes aren't likely to affect the introduction of the 2008 Malibu, since it will be built on the Epsilon I platform, which is still on track. The negotiations, however, may affect the debut of the next-generation Malibu and Aura, both of which will move to the Epsilon II platform.