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General Motors Adding Shifts at 3 Plants

Chevy Malibu 2008
Chevy Malibu 2008

General Motors will go to 24-hour operations at factories in Kansas, Michigan and Indiana to make up for production lost due to a large-scale factory consolidation announced earlier in the year.

The automaker says it will add third shifts at its Fairfax plant in Kansas City, Kan., in January. That will be followed in April by third shifts at factories in Delta Township, Mich., near Lansing, and Fort Wayne, Ind.

About 2,400 production workers will be recalled as a result of the added shifts.

The Fairfax plant makes the midsize Chevrolet Malibu, Saturn Aura and Buick LaCrosse, while Delta Township makes the GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook large crossover vehicles. The Fort Wayne factory makes pickup trucks.

GM says in a statement that Fairfax will get all production of the Malibu when the midsize car factory in Orion Township, Mich., closes in November. It will be converted to a small-car plant and reopen in 2010.

Delta Township will get production of the Chevrolet Traverse large crossover when the Spring Hill, Tenn., factory that now makes the vehicles closes in November. That plant will go on standby in case demand increases.

Fort Wayne will add production of heavy-duty versions of the GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado pickups that were being made in Pontiac, Mich. That factory is to close at the end of September, the company said in a statement.

"Today's actions enable GM to add production shifts and maximize the utilization of several of our plants," Tim Lee, group vice president for global manufacturing, said in a statement.