GM to suspend Hummer production

By Carolyn Roy – bio|email

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) – Production of the Hummer H3 and H3T at GM's Shreveport plant has been "temporarily suspended," beginning the week of January 18th.

Doug Ebey, president of the local UAW 2166, says he received a letter from General Motors Corporation late Tuesday night, informing him of the suspension.

The execution of the sale of the Hummer brand to Chinese heavy equipment company Sichuan Tengzhong is subject to approval by the appropriate Chinese government authority.  According to the letter from Detroit, "That process is underway in China and GM remains hopeful it will be consummated in short order pending approval."

Under a Memorandum of Understanding struck in June with the Chinese government, Shreveport was to build the Hummer H3 & H3T on a contract basis for Sichuan Tengzhong through June 2011, with an option to extend for one more year until June 2012.  The sale was expected to be complete by December 2009. There has been no word, however, of movement forward on the deal.

The letter goes on to say that, "Once the sale transaction is consummated, we expect Hummer production to resume in line with the sales agreement."

GM says the suspension of the H3 and H3T has no impact on the current operating plan for the Colorado and Canyon mid-sized pickup trucks.  The production on the mid-sized pickup trucks is slated to end no later than June of 2012, depending on market demand.

About 975 employees are currently working at the plant. Production of the Colorado and Canyon picked back up again on October after a long summer furlough.  Production of 2010 Hummer H3 SUV and H3T pickup began in November, in response to low inventory for the products.  They make up about 15% of the production there, which accounts for about 60 Hummers coming off the line each day.  Ebey says he does not expect a reduction in the work force as a result of the Hummer production being put on hold.  But all could lose their jobs by mid-2012 unless state officials succeed in luring new GM, Hummer or other automaker production to the site.

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