WisBusiness: State still looking to salvage GM plant

By Andy Szal


Gov. Jim Doyle says the state will continue its efforts to rescue the General Motors plant in Janesville despite the company’s announcement that the plan will be shut down before the end of the year.

“General Motors’ announcement of the final day of production at the Janesville plant is another tragic example where hard working families are carrying the brunt of the burden for the financial failures on Wall Street,” Doyle said in a response to the GM announcement. He said the state, union, local leaders and Congressional delegation would sustain attempts to “bring a new product line to the Janesville plant.”

The plant, which had been scheduled to be shuttered by 2010, will instead hold its last day of production on Dec. 23. Janesville natives U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan both called the decision disappointing, but stressed that an incentive package prepared by a Janesville task force remains under review by company officials. U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl promised to work to convince GM to reconsider its decision.

Local legislators also urged optimism and praised the work of the task force.

“It is very important that we keep GM’s announcement in perspective,” said Rep. Mike Sheridan, D-Janesville and a former UAW president. “The announcement that production of SUVs at the Janesville Assembly Plant will end was not unexpected. … We are still focused on the possibility that Janesville will be awarded a new product line.”

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