Citing difficulty in U.S. economic and market conditions, General Motors (GM) will close four plants - two in the United States, one in Canada, and one in Mexico - that produce truck and SUV models and will move forward with production of a hybrid vehicle and new compact cars. The company will cease production at plants in Janesville, Wisconsin; Moraine, Ohio; Oshawa, Ontario, Canada; and Toluca, Mexico. Models that will be discontinued include the Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra, Chevy TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy, and Saab 9-7x. At the same time, the company has greenlighted funding of the Chevy Volt electric vehicle and will begin a program for a next-generation compact car to replace the Chevy Aveo. The company will also conduct a "strategic review" of the Hummer brand, including a possible sale. "Higher gasoline prices are changing consumer behavior, and they are significantly affecting the U.S. auto industry sales mix," says Rick Wagoner, GM's chair and CEO. The company declined to say how many jobs might be affected, but multiple news reports indicate the number could be as high as 10,000.
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