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New Process Gear plant closing

by David Zatz on

Magna is shutting down the former New Process Gear plant in Syracuse, New York, which made manual transmissions for numerous Dodge and Plymouth cars. The Canadian auto parts maker, which was a lead bidder for Chrysler Group and reportedly engineered and built the electric Ford Focus prototype, had gotten major concessions from the UAW in early 2008. Recently, Magna went back to the union with more demands, which workers rejected. 

While closing the facility will eliminate 1,400 jobs, it is unclear how much of the decision was due to the workers’ refusal to make concessions and how much was due to lack of demand for small cars built in the United States, and the drop in Jeep sales (the plant makes 4×4 transfer cases for Jeep and others). The plant lost $117 million in 2007.

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