SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The White House says President Barack Obama is standing behind GM as it announces plans to temporarily close 13 assembly plants and lay off nearly 24-thousand workers. That includes the Shreveport GM plant.
The 800-workers at the Shreveport factory will be off for six weeks because of this shutdown. It begins June 15th and runs through July 27th. But some fear it could be a harbinger of things to come.
When the Shreveport plant goes idle for 6-weeks this summer it will once again create ripple effects. "I think it's gonna be slow around here," predicted Lottie Mack. She works right around the corner from the factory as a gas station clerk.
Mack knows all-too-well the human toll of factory shutdowns and layoffs. She told us, "yeah, they got a little mood swing about their self, like they kind of a little sad and you know. But they, all-in-all they holding on."
Those 800-remaining factory workers once numbered more than 22-hundred. GM just added four weeks to their normal 2-week shutdown. GM's overall goal according to Troy Clarke, General Motors North American President : "To reduce inventory levels from 767 units that we have in the field today to approximately 525 thousand by the end of July."
Shreveport's GM plant makes the Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon, Hummer H3 and H3T-pickup trucks. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said he remains in close contact with company leaders in Detroit. "They continue to assure us that certainly this facility in northwest Louisiana is a modern facility, an important facility to them," added Jindal.
But also important to GM: Selling the Hummer brand. Late last week we heard about three offers to buy Hummer and that we'd likely know more this week. We're still waiting. And there's considerable doubt whether government restructuring would include the Colorado and Canyon brands.
Overall, the GM shutdowns affect locations that make 'out-of-favor' heavy trucks and vans and some luxury sedans. But, GM increased production at two plants, including one where it makes the Chevy Malibu, a midsize sedan that's been a bright spot in the company's sliding sales.