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GM has 'specific criteria' for site of small-car plant

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JAMES P. LEUTE
June 17, 2009
— General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson said Tuesday the automaker will consider a variety of factors in determining which idled plant will win small-car production.

Representatives of plants in Janesville; Orion, Mich., and Spring Hill, Tenn., submitted proposals to the automaker Tuesday for the production that's expected to start in 2011.


GM expects to make a decision by the end of June.


The chosen plant is expected to build about 160,000 of the small vehicles each year with a payroll of about 1,200 workers.


Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen said last week it's become his impression that up-front cash incentives to GM will trump individual plant merits to determine whether Tennessee, Michigan or Wisconsin builds the new small car.


In a Web chat with reporters Tuesday, Henderson was asked how cash incentives from the states would play into GM's decision and just how heavily those incentives would be weighed against other factors.


"We have outlined 12 specific criteria that will drive our decision, not simply one," Henderson said in response to a question from the Gazette.


Tim Cullen, a member of the local GM retention task force, said Tuesday on WCLO's "Stan Milam Show" that financial incentives are just one of the 12 criteria. He also said GM is considering factors such as plant efficiency, local labor relations, utility costs and the economic impact of the plant on its community.


Cullen would not comment on Bredesen's remark, but said GM officials did not imply to the Janesville group that financial incentives carried any more weight than any of the other criteria.



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