GM to Close Wisconsin Plant

Shrinking demand for full-size SUVs

General Motors said Oct. 13 it will close its Janesville, Wisc. plant which manufactures SUVs, reflecting declining demand for the large, gas-guzzling vehicles.

"This morning, we informed the employees of the Janesville, Wisc. plant that due to a shrinking demand for full-size SUVs, we plan to permanently cease all operations at the plant on December 23," said a spokesman for the company.

"We had told the employees back in June that we were looking for a closure in 2010, but unfortunately, due to the decline in this market, we had to make this decision earlier."

The market for SUVs (Sports Utility Vehicles) has fallen sharply in the United States due to the higher price of gasoline that has pushed consumers towards more smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles.

The factory, in the Midwestern state of Wisconsin, employs about 1,300 people. It produces the GMC Yukon, GMC Yukon XL, Chevrolet Tahoe and Chevrolet Suburban models.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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