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Flooding Slows Auto Production In Detroit

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 1:38pm
Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

Record-setting rainfall in the Detroit area has slowed vehicle production and closed some facilities, automakers said Tuesday.

General Motors closed its Tech Center in the Detroit suburb of Warren on Tuesday because of flood damage. The company told the 19,000 engineers, designers and others who work at the 330-acre campus to stay home while facilities are cleaned.

GM spokesman Bill Grotz said the flooding didn't appear to cause severe damage to the historic campus, which was designed in the early 1950s by architect Eero Saarinen.

GM said production at local plants wasn't affected. But flooding did cause slowdowns at Detroit's other two automakers.

Four Chrysler plants — including one in Detroit and three in the suburbs of Warren and Sterling Heights — were flooded Monday.

The company halted operations at its Sterling Heights Assembly Plant at 9 p.m. Monday night and released employees again Tuesday morning. Chrysler said road closings caused by flooding have slowed deliveries and caused high absenteeism.

Three other Chrysler plants were running Tuesday morning, but at a slow rate. Chrysler expects to resume normal production at all four plants later Tuesday.

Ford also slowed production Monday at four suburban Detroit plants in Dearborn, Wayne and Sterling Heights. Assembly plants in Chicago and Louisville, Kentucky, were also impacted because of flooding at Michigan-based suppliers.

Ford said all of its plants were running normally Tuesday morning.

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