FOX47 NEWS - Janesville GM Plant May Close Early

Jeff Angileri
Jul 15, 2008, 9:06 PM

General Motors announced Tuesday it's slashing truck and SUV production in North America, and pouring its resources into fuel-efficient vehicles.

GM's announcement means the Janesville facility could close earlier than expected. Last month, the company said it would halt production of SUV's and pickup trucks there by 2010. No specific date has been mentioned yet.

The closure is part of a cost-cutting plan that includes eliminating 20 percent of salaried workers, canceling pay raises, and borrowing $2 billion to $3 billion.

The automaker has seen sales plummet 16 percent this year, caused in part by skyrocketing gas prices and a change in consumer buying trends.

GM CEO Rick Wagoner called the changes, Tough actions that we really don't enjoy having to take, but the future of the company under these circumstances needs to be the thing that we look at first and foremost.

The Janesville plant has already cut one production shift that eliminated 850 jobs. In addition, more than 550 workers were offered buyouts and early retirement packages...all happening at a place that employed 2,600 people at the beginning of the year.

The Janesville factory is GM's oldest plant. It makes Chevy Suburbans, Tahoes, and GMC Yukons.

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