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GM to Speed Up Closure of Janesville Plant

UPDATED Wednesday, July 16, 2008 --- 7:40 a.m.

Wisconsin unlikely to recoup money given to GM

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin won't likely get back much of the $10 million awarded to General Motors for worker training and other improvements at its Janesville plant.

The state provided the money in four grants since 2004 to help GM with a major plant overhaul and worker training.

Then GM announced in June it will close the plant by 2010. GM officials now say it will be sooner. That news came yesterday as GM announced plans to slash production and jobs as it tries to survive a collapse in its core U.S. market.

State officials, meanwhile, say they are still reviewing what can be done to get some of the money back, but all but about $700,000 has been handed out.

The Associated Press obtained contracts for $2 million in grants, and they don't include any penalties for the plant closing.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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UPDATE: Tuesday, July 15, 2008 --- 11:30 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin state officials continue to review whether any of the $10 million given in grants to General Motors for improvements at its Janesville plant can be recouped.

The car company announced in June that it would close the plant by 2010. GM said Tuesday that closure will come sooner, but did not say when.

Wisconsin gave GM three grants totaling $10 million in 2004 and 2005 to help with a $175 million plant overhaul and worker training.

Gov. Jim Doyle's spokeswoman Carla Vigue says state officials still believe some money can be recouped, but it is not clear how much. She says that may not be known until closer to when the plant closes.

Vigue says state officials continue to work with GM to maintain a presence in Janesville.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008 --- 8:55 a.m.

DETROIT (AP) -- General Motors announced plans today to weather a severe downturn in the U.S. auto market and turn around its North American operations.

One part of the plan is speeding up closure of factories in Janesville (Wis); Moraine, Ohio; Ontario and Mexico.

Previously, GM planned to permanently close the Janesville plant by 2010. It's not yet clear how much sooner it will close.

GM and other auto companies have been hammered by high gas prices, the weak economy and a rapid shift in consumer tastes away from trucks and SUVs. GM's sales were down 16 percent in the first six months of this year, led by a 21 percent decline in truck sales.

GM also plans to cut 20 percent in salaried employment, suspend its dividend and borrow $2 billion to $3 billion.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008 --- 8:10 a.m.

DETROIT (AP) -- General Motors Corp. plans to lay off salaried workers, cut truck production, suspend its dividend and borrow $2 billion to $3 billion as it adjusts to a declining U.S. market.

GM said Tuesday the moves will raise $15 billion to help turn around its North American operations.

GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner announced the cuts to employees Tuesday. He said they are necessary to adjust to lower U.S. sales and a rapid change in consumer preference to smaller cars.

GM forecasts total U.S. sales of 14.7 million vehicles this year. That's down from 17 million three years ago.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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