General Motors Corp. has decided to phase out operations at its Saginaw (MI) Malleable Iron Plant within three years, before the existing labor contract between GM and the United Autoworkers union expires in September 2007. Up to 350 are employed at the plant.
On the other hand, GM intends to continue producing aluminum V-8 engine blocks at its Saginaw Metal Castings operation. That follows a $80-million investment program begun in 2002, and an earlier $170-million program to establish block and cylinder head casting.
The Malleable Iron operation is a unit of the GM Powertrain division. It produces automotive castings, pistons, transmission components, and other some products, and GM’s strategy is to transfer the activities to its GM Powertrain plant in Defiance, OH.
Rick Sutton, manager of both the operations in Saginaw, stated: "The market for malleable iron has reduced dramatically as more efficient materials and processes are introduced. Over the years, this has caused capacity utilization issues at the facility to the point today when it is no longer prudent to continue operations."