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Idle GM plants spark interest from automakers

Posted Wednesday, Sep 2, 2009, 12:10 pm in Employee News

Foreign and domestic automakers have expressed interest in buying factories being sold by the former General Motors Corp. as part of its bankruptcy case, The Detroit News reported.

Al Koch, chief restructuring officer of the old GM, would not disclose the prospective buyers or sites in a recent interview with The Detroit News. But the inquiries illustrate a surprising level of interest in properties—including a $25 million proposal for 220 acres of land in Flint, M ich.—previously thought to be too large, too old and, in some cases, too polluted to sell, the paper said.

While Koch would not identify the automakers or the plants being considered, experts say the most logical sites are four GM assembly plants, including Pontiac (Mich.) Assembly, where the factory’s 2,800 workers make the Chevrolet Silverado and the GMC Sierra, the News said. The others are located in Wilmington, Del., Shreveport, La., and Moraine, Ohio. The old GM also has five stamping and six powertrain plants.

Industry analysts said any of the assembly plants would give a foreign automaker, perhaps a Chinese or Indian company, entry into the U.S. market or might interest Chrysler Group LLC, which will produce cars made in conjunction with its new partner, Italy’s Fiat SpA the paper said. But the analysts also cautioned that Chrysler has capacity at existing plants to build new models and there are many reasons why the GM plants will be a tough sell: They are either too old, too large, located too far from suppliers or in states with union work forces., the story said. (The Detroit News)
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