General Motors (GM) has announced that it will keep the Massena Powertrain Plant open until mid 2009.
The move allows for a six month extension past the company’s original closing deadline for the plant in December.
Keeping the plant open is in response to “rapidly changing consumer demand,” according to Arvin Jones, Manufacturing Manager, GM Powertrain Transmissions & Castings Operations.
The high price of gas is “driving consumers away from trucks and SUVs to cars and crossovers,” Jones said.
The Massena plant manufactures cylinder heads and blocks for four cylinder engines, used in smaller cars.
“Massena’s extended production will allow GM to support this rapid shift in market demand,” Jones said.
However, Jones emphasized GM still plans to close the Massena facility and shift manufacturing to Saginaw, Michigan.
He would not be more specific that ‘mid-2009,’ when asked how much longer GM’s Massena facility will stay open.
Jones said employees who have taken severance packages will be allowed to leave as planned, but will be asked to stay thew extra time.
He acknowledged the company could have to hire temporary workers, if it can’t keep enough of the people now on the job who plan to leave - either through severance, retirement or transfer.
GM Powertrain now employs 250 people. “We think that will stay roughly the range of employment,” Jones said.