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April 25, 2005

USA: GM SUV shift gets a reprieve

A scheduled shift reduction at General Motors Corp.'s Oklahoma City assembly plant has been postponed, company officials confirmed to the Associated Press (AP).

A scheduled shift reduction at General Motors Corp.’s Oklahoma City assembly plant has been postponed, company officials confirmed to the Associated Press (AP).

The elimination of the second shift, originally scheduled for June 27, would have affected about 830 jobs, AP said.

Plant manager Tyree Minner, in a memo to employees obtained by the Associated Press, said the move was based on an updated report on market demand for the two-sport utility vehicles the plant manufactures.

“While this is good news for the GM Oklahoma City plant, we need to remember that the factors behind the proposed shift reduction remain,” Minner reportedly wrote, adding: “The market for SUVs is extremely competitive, and continues to be down by about 20-30% this year.”

AP noted that GM announced earlier this month that the second shift would shut down because of decreasing demand for the seven-passenger Chevrolet TrailBlazers and GMC Envoys made at the plant – the company said about 780 hourly workers and about 50 salaried employees would be affected.

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