Massive layoffs spread from Big Three to automotive suppliers

Dec 05, 2008 | 12:24 PM | Michael Cowden

Mass layoffs in the auto, parts and transportation industries accelerated Friday, including thousands of cuts announced by the Detroit-area Big Three automakers in the United States and around the world.

General Motors Corp. plans to slash nearly 2,000 more jobs at three plants in the United States and Canada as it struggles to cope with an auto market that "collapsed," a company spokesman said.

The Detroit-based automaker will lay off 880 workers at its Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant; 390 workers at its Orion Township, Mich., plant; and 700 workers at its Oshawa car factory in Oshawa, Ontario.

The job cuts are part of efforts to scale production at the facilities from three shifts to two.

"The market has collapsed. Nobody is buying cars right now," the GM spokesman said. "And that's across automakers. It's not just a U.S. automaker situation. We are just in a situation where we can't weather the storm."

The "new domestic" automakers such as Toyota Motor Corp. have also suffered steep sales declines, he noted. The Japanese automaker saw U.S. sales plunge in November by more than one-third from the same month last year (AMM, Dec. 3).....

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