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GM Parts Supplier Lays Off More Than 100 Workers

Lebanon, Virginia plant cuts jobs due to slowing demand for sport utililty vehicles (SUVs).

A Lebanon, Virginia plant has laid off more than 100 workers due to slowing demand for sport utility vehicles (SUVs). The Lear Corp. makes parts for General Motors (GM) cars and trucks.

The cuts at the factory resulted from the closing of a GM plant in Oklahoma where GM Envoys and Jimmy SUVs are assembled, according to company spokeswoman, Andrea Puchalsky.

Almost 80% of the door panels, arm rests and center consoles made at the plant are used in GM cars and trucks. With GM planning to cut more than 30,000 jobs and close 12 plants by 2008, more workers at the plant could lose their jobs, Puchalsky told the Bristol Herald Courier.

Job loss has been continual at the plant over the past several years. According to Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority documents, the plant employed 850 workers in 2003. By the end of last year, employment had shrunk to 678. The current job cuts represent a 15% cut in the work force.

In 2005, Lear laid off almost 600 employees at their Winchester and Covington factories.