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General Motors lays off workers at NY plant due to Japan crisis

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DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. on Monday is halting some production and temporarily laying off workers at a Buffalo, N.Y., engine plant, another sign that Japan's disaster is affecting automakers around the globe.

GM is suspending production of engines built at its Tonawanda plant for the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon compact pickups, which are assembled at a GM factory in Shreveport, La. GM shut down its Shreveport operation this week because of a shortage of parts from Japan.

GM doesn't know when production will resume at either plant.

This latest shutdown at GM shows how interdependent the world's car makers have become. GM last week became the first U.S.-based car company to say it would suspend production because of Japanese parts shortages. Toyota and Subaru are scaling back production at U.S. plants because they depend on imports from Japan, whose car industry was hobbled March 11 after that nation's largest known earthquake and tsunami.

Even though damage at Japanese auto plants was limited, uncertainty lingers. Factories are unlikely to return to full production for months, hindered by unreliable power supplies and extensive damage to some parts suppliers.


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