GM is shutting down its Moraine production plant on December 23, two years earlier than its initial announcement back in June. GM spokesman Chris Lee announced the earlier closing date was due to current market conditions. Moraine produces the Chevrolet TrailBlazer and TrailBlazer SS, GMC Envoy, and Envoy Denali, and the Saab 9-7X. For the year to date of writing, U.S. sales of TrailBlazers have fallen nearly 28%, with a 30.8% drop for the month of September. Envoy sales are down 19% in September.
The December closing date will idle about 1100 unionized hourly workers, who are represented by the IUE-CWA electrical workers union. There are also an additional 100 employees on salary at the plant. Under GM's original plan of closing the plant in 2010, the plant was to be idled during December; production will now continue to run through December until the 23.
Negotiations are underway with the union to determine buyout offers and retirement incentives for the plant workers.