General Motors Corp. said Friday it will temporarily close 20 factories across North America and make sweeping cuts to its vehicle production as it tries to adjust to dramatically weaker automobile demand.Clearly GM is still expecting to be around, but if something doesn't happen soon, I'm betting a lot of those GM plants simply aren't going to reopen. Ever.
GM said it will cut 250,000 vehicles from its production schedule for the first quarter of 2009, which includes a cut of 60,000 vehicles announced last week. Normal production would be around 750,000 cars and trucks for the quarter, spokesman Tony Sapienza said.
Many plants will be shut down for the whole month of January, he said, and all told, the factories will be closed for 30 percent of the quarter.
"We're adjusting pretty dramatically," spokesman Chris Lee said.
The move affects most of GM's plants in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. During the shutdowns, employees will be temporarily laid off and can apply to receive a portion of their normal pay from the company. They can also apply for state unemployment benefits, Lee said.
Still no bottom for the US economy. Still millions of layoffs, billions in bailouts and trillions in total losses ahead.