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Michigan Wins GM Small Car Production; Hummer Sale May Be Blocked By Chinese Government

06/26/2009
General Motors (GM) has chosen to build its new small cars in an existing facility in Orion Township, Michigan. The automaker had been considering plants in Spring Hill, Tennessee, and Janesville, Wisconsin, along with the Michigan plant. GM says in a statement that it will also utilize the stamping plant in Pontiac, Michigan, as part of the production of small cars, including the Chevrolet Cruze and Volt. Approximately 1,400 jobs will be restored at the two facilities. "Small cars represent one of the fastest-growing segments in both the U.S. and around the world," says Troy Clarke, president of GM North America. "We believe Orion Assembly and Pontiac Stamping are well-suited to deliver a high-quality, fuel-efficient car that competes with anything in the marketplace." The Orion plant will be retooled for the new vehicle production, with plans to produce 160,000 small and compact cars annually. At the same time, GM is denying reports that its sale of the Hummer brand to the Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co. has been blocked by the Chinese government. The Wall Street Journal says the BBC reported this morning that China was denying the sale due to environmental concerns and because the buyer, a manufacturer of dump trucks and industrial machinery, lacks the expertise to produce automobiles. GM officials tell the Journal that the deal is still under negotiations; however, the Associated Press and multiple additional sources say that the Chinese buyer cannot finalize the agreement without government approval and has not yet received it. The government agency cited in the BBC report has not issued further comment.

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