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GM in talks to sell truck unit to Isuzu.

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The Japan Times

GM in talks to sell truck unit to Isuzu, union leader says

General Motors Corp., trying to prove its viability to the U.S. Treasury Department, is in talks to sell a division that produces work trucks to Isuzu Motors Ltd., a local union leader said.

The United Auto Workers has agreed to allow the transfer of the unit if talks are successful, said Local 598 Chairman Mark Hawkins, citing a UAW letter about the talks. The plant in Flint, Mich., employs about 525 hourly workers and produced about 22,000 trucks last year, GM spokesman Tony Sapienza said. GM doesn't provide revenue or profit figures for the unit.

The automaker is trying to cut labor and debt costs and sell assets to persuade the Treasury it will be viable and should keep $13.4 billion in pledged government loans GM says it needs to stay in business.

Isuzu would keep making medium-duty trucks at the factory for at least five more years under a plan being discussed, Hawkins said. GM spokeswoman Julie Gibson said no decision has been reached.

"We would rather have Isuzu than Navistar because Isuzu will keep the jobs in Flint," Hawkins said, referring to an earlier plan to have Navistar International Corp. buy the unit.

Isuzu and GM are in talks about continuing production of Isuzu-brand medium-duty trucks at the Flint plant, said Isuzu spokesman Naoki Ariizumi in Tokyo.

Navistar agreed in December 2007 to buy the unit, which makes the Chevrolet Kodiak and GMC TopKick work vehicles commonly used as dump trucks and cargo haulers.

The Japan Times: Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2009

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If you really want to make people safe drivers again then simply remove all the safety features from cars. No more seat belts, ABS brakes, traction control, air bags or stability control. No more anything. You'll see how quickly people will slow down and once again learn to drive like "normal" humans.

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