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Wentzville GM plant to stay open

A Chevrolet Express van nears completion on the assembly line in Wentzville. (photo: Adam Allington, KWMU)

By Rachel Lippmann, KWMU

St. Louis – General Motors's Wentzville facility has been spared in the early draft of the company's restructuring plan.

The 26-year-old plant makes large Chevrolet and GMC vans. It's the last remaining auto factory in the St. Louis area.

Wentzville plant spokesman Bob Wheeler said he doesn't expect the 1800 workers to see many changes in the next two or three weeks.

"Further down the road, that's something really here at Wentzville we really don't have too much control over," he said. "That will basically come from our shareholders."

Wheeler said he hoped the restructuring does not lead to further layoffs at Wentzville. A line speed reduction led to 150 layoffs, and the facility will be idled for three weeks beyond the traditional summer shutdown.

The announcement Monday brought mixed emotions, Wheeler said. "This is a pretty tight-knit GM family, and people have transferred here from all over the country, and have probably worked at some of those facilities that are going to be closed, they know people, they might even have family members there," he said.

GM will permanently close nine plants in Michigan, Delaware, Ohio, and Virginia in the next two years. Three plants will be idled but not closed.