GM to Boost Production

Will reinstate 1,350 jobs

General Motors on August 18 said it would boost production to meet surging demand for fuel-efficient vehicles and call back 1,350 employees to assembly lines.

Five weeks after emerging from bankruptcy protection, GM said that it would increase production at several North America assembly plants, by adding shifts, overtime and cancelling scheduled plant shutdowns.

The company said it would add about 60,000 vehicles in the third and mainly the fourth quarter production forecast, "ensuring a wide selection of high-quality, fuel-efficient cars, crossovers and trucks for customers."

Production shifts will be added to its plants in Lordstown, Ohio, and at CAMI Automotive Inc., a joint venture with Suzuki Motor Corp. headquartered in Ontario, Canada.

The additional shifts will increase the number of employees represented by the United Auto Workers and Canadian Auto Workers unions. "This will bring approximately 1,350 UAW and CAW employees back to the assembly lines," said GM, the former world leader in auto manufacturing that is now 60% owned by the U.S. government.

GM said that the government's popular "cash-for-clunkers" program of sales incentives had generated substantial demand in July and August for a broad range of its fuel-efficient vehicles.

"This latest round of production increases will go a long way in rebuilding dealer inventories to help us meet strong consumer demand," the company said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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