GM Restores Production - For Now

June 16, 2008
For the first time since February, General Motors' U.S. operations are running at full levels - though with demand plunging for the automaker's products, especially its light trucks, further production cuts seem all but inevitable.

GM was forced to sharply curtail production earlier this year, when workers walked off the job at one of the automaker's biggest suppliers, American Axle & Manufacturing. By the time the confrontation was settled on May 26, more than 30 of GM's North American plants were at least partially idled. The dispute cost the giant automaker an estimated $2.6 billion in revenues on 330,000 units of lost production.

The last five GM plants affected by the American Axle strike - all producing engines for GM - returned to work today.

The General suffered a 27.5 percent decline in sales in May, the bulk of that coming on the truck side of the production lineup. As a result, the automaker announced earlier this month plans to close four light truck plants, which will reduce its North American production capacity by about 500,000 units annually.

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