Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Heavy Michigan rains close GM tech center, affect other automakers

Reuters: Heavy rains in southeast Michigan hit the operations of U.S. automakers in the region, including forcing the closure of General Motors Co's technical center outside Detroit Detroit city officials said Monday night's heavy rainfall was the most rain the city had seen in almost nine decades. It caused flooding, power losses and road closures, including parts of several major highways.

GM's technical center in Warren, Michigan, was closed after flooding caused loss of power in parts of the campus, a spokeswoman said. GM and contractors employ about 19,000 people there in various functions. including research and development, design, engineering, information technology and customer satisfaction.

The employees were told to work from home or other remote locations while the No. 1 U.S. automaker worked to get the technical center reopened, the spokeswoman said. No timetable was available on when that would be.

GM said there had been no impact on any of its plants in the region. Ford Motor Co said some plant operations were affected Monday night, including production slowdowns at the Dearborn, Michigan, truck and stamping plants; an assembly plant in Wayne, Michigan; the Sterling, Michigan, axle and transmission plants; and a stamping plant in Woodhaven, Michigan.

Additionally, a spokeswoman said the No.2 U.S. automaker's Chicago and Kentucky assembly plants experienced some production interruptions due to flooding at Michigan-based suppliers, but all Ford plants were operating on normal schedules.

Chrysler Group, a unit of Italy's Fiat, said four of its plants in Michigan had been affected by flooding. The unit said it also had higher-than-normal worker absenteeism and slowed deliveries due to road.

A satellite image of Detroit by http://www.terraprints.com, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license

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