Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Layoffs at Flint Truck Assembly Plant

"General Motors told almost 400 Flint Truck Assembly Plant workers this morning that their jobs on a commercial truck line here will be eliminated July 31, a crushing blow to Genesee County's only remaining assembly plant," reports Ron Fonger of The Flint Journal.


  1. "Crushing blow"? Did Ron write that, or was that supplied by an editor? It's just a bit hyperbolic.

    Medium truck production was only about 23% of the plant's unit output last year...and given that the medium truck operation was not profitable overall and the special pickups *are* profitable, it probably is accounted within GM as zero percent of the plant's profit contribution.

    So, odds are the plant's fine, if a bit undercapacity. It's a shame to lose more jobs, of course. But, we've known that *something* (sale, closure, etc.) was going to happen to that operation that would cause medium truck product to cease at that particular plant for at least a year and a half now...so this isn't a shock.

  2. A week later, we obliquely get the potentially "crushing" news.

    GM is negotiating with Indiana for tax breaks on the Fort Wayne regular-pickup plant, to which they consolidated pickup production when they announced the closure of Pontiac. The tax breaks would be for $1 billion in new investment to equip the Fort Wayne plant to build extended-cab and heavy duty pickups.

    Those are the remaining products at Flint Truck, now that the medium duty truck line is cancelled.

    If the big pickups are consolidated to Fort Wayne, and there is no new product, Flint Truck would close.

    What could a new product be? Everything known to be in the pipeline (the Cruze platform, the Volt platform, a future ecocar) has already been discussed in terms of where the candidate-plants are.

    This sounds very bad.

  3. Link for the Fort Wayne story, from the Today in Manufacturing website: http://www.manufacturing.net/article.aspx?id=203540


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at www.teardownbook.com.