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Seven Days: Vermont Car Blog

December 18, 2008

Auto Plants Closing For January

Big_three All three U.S. automakers are extending their normal two-week holiday shutdowns. These closings reflect two stark realities facing U.S. automakers. First is the unconfirmed and undefined bailout plan. Second is the lack of buying customers in the showroom resulting in the lowest sales rate in 26 years.

Ford is closing 10 of its North American plants for the first full week of January. In a plan made public in early December their goal is to reduce first-quarter production by 37.9 percent or 430,000 vehicles.

Chrysler’s closings are more dramatic extending the already planned two-week holiday shutdown to a month, possibly longer for 30 U.S. factories. Whether or not all of the plants actually open again is yet to be seen.

General Motors will temporarily close 20 factories.

All of the automakers are in a fragile state, but Ford is at least in a position to maintain its operations without intervention through 2009. GM and Chrysler need some government assistance or… else.

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