Friday marks last day for second shift at Shreveport GM plant - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Friday marks last day for second shift at Shreveport GM plant

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - The second shift at the General Motors Corp. assembly plant will end Friday, eliminating the jobs of 798 employees and leaving the payroll under 800.

The plant, which until recently employed more than 2,000 people, has been hit by turmoil in the auto industry as buyers shunned big, gas-guzzling vehicles and avoided new car showrooms altogether in the wake of the trouble economy.

GM currently produces the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickup trucks and the Hummer H3 and H3T at the Shreveport plant. This week, GM said it would try to sell the Hummer brand - about a year after saying it planned to put $73 million into the Shreveport plant to allow production of a new Hummer model.

GM spokesman Tony Sapienza said the prospects for getting a new product built at the plant are uncertain.

"I would say nothing is set," he said. "The plant's future is tied to the market. I can't really predict or won't speculate on what's to come. We're going to continue to watch the situation carefully. The possibilities are wide open."

The U.S. House has approved $25 billion in loans to the auto industry to refurbish old assembly plans and develop advanced battery and gas-electric hybrid vehicles.

Sapienza said once those funds become available to the auto industry, GM will probably use them for hybrids and electric vehicles, and not for retooling the Shreveport plant.

On Aug. 15, Gov. Bobby Jindal met with GM officials in Detroit to discuss the plant's future. At the time, Jindal said GM expected to keep the first shift running.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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