Niagara Gazette

Local News

August 10, 2009

TOWN OF TONAWANDA: GM sells Powertrain plant to itself

General Motors has sold the town’s Powertrain plant — to itself.

Contracts filed Monday with the Erie County Clerk’s office state that the River Road plant was sold from General Motors Corp. to General Motors Co. for $18.2 million. This sale and others like it are part of the process of making the “new” GM that has emerged from bankruptcy into a leaner, more competitive company.

“From the folks I’ve talked to in Detroit, they said it’s just a paper transfer from the old to the new,” said Nina Price, the plant’s communications manager.

While the number of people employed by the facility has dwindled in recent years, it is still a large employer locally. Even after shedding 141 employees in the most recent round of buyouts, the plant has approximately 1,180 workers.

The facility also lost two engine lines in the dust-up created when the company shuffled its work while closing plants nationwide. CEO Fritz Henderson will hold an on-line Webcast this morning to discuss new product plans, but there is no indication whether those plans bode well for the Tonawanda plant’s work load.

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