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General Motors Files for Bankruptcy; Multiple Facilities to Close

General Motors Corporation (GM) this morning filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in U.S. federal bankruptcy court. In a prepared statement, the company says it hopes to launch in 60 to 90 days what it is calling "New GM" that will incorporate much of the April 27 viability agreement the company reached with the U.S. Treasury Department, including plant closures, a new labor agreement, and the phase-out of several GM brands. The New York Times reports that the bankruptcy petition states that GM owes $172.8 billion against $82.3 billion in assets, and that the largest creditors are bondholders holding $22.8 billion in debt and affiliates of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, representing approximately $20.6 billion in employee obligations. The Detroit News says the following plants will be closed by 2012: Grand Rapids stamping (previously announced), Pontiac assembly, Pontiac stamping, Livonia engine, Flint North components, and Willow Run transmission operations in Michigan; Mansfield stamping, Parma components, and Columbus service and parts warehouse in Ohio; Wilmington assembly in Delaware; Jacksonville service and parts warehouse in Florida; Indianapolis stamping in Indiana; Boston service and parts warehouse in Massachusetts; Massena castings in New York; and Fredericksburg components in Virginia. In addition, the Lake Orion assembly plant in Michigan and the Spring Hill assembly plant in Tennessee will be idled but placed on standby for possible future reopening. The White House says President Barack Obama is expected to speak on the bankruptcy filing this afternoon.

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