DETROIT, Mich.—General Motors announced plans to close four U.S. factories just after it became the leading auto manufacturer in Mexico. The company increased production at its three Mexico assembly plants to more than 800,000 vehicles through November, 67,000 more than it did in the same period in 2017, while Nissan’s production at its four Mexican factories fell from 788,000 vehicles to 717,000. GM, which has been converting its two Mexican plants that specialized in cars to produce SUVs and pickup trucks, plans to build its new Chevrolet Blazer SUV in Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila. That plant formerly built the Chevy Cruze sedan—whose impending discontinuation is GM’s reason for its plans to close the Lordstown, Ohio assembly plant. Wages at GM’s Mexican plants averaged about $1.90 an hour in 2016, while UAW members in the U.S. start at $17 and reach $28 after eight years. Meanwhile, Canadian unions are campaigning for GM to find new models to build at its Oshawa, Ontario plant, which is also slated to be closed this year. “They are naïve to believe that Canadians won’t betray them for their blatant disloyalty,” Unifor President Jerry Dias told the Detroit Free Press. Read more


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