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Flooding slows production for automakers in Detroit area

Record rainfall and flooding slows production at Detroit automakers

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

General Motors Co. 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. Some were able to work from home or other locations.

The flooding didn’t appear to cause severe damage to the historic campus, GM spokesman Bill Grotz said.

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

Chrysler Group LLC 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 and released employees again Tuesday morning. Chrysler said road closings caused by flooding slowed deliveries and caused high absenteeism.

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

A Chrysler spokesman said there was no impact on the Chrysler’s Toledo Assembly complex, which makes the Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Cherokee.

Ford Motor Co. slowed production Monday at four suburban Detroit plants in Dearborn, Wayne, and Sterling Heights. Assembly plants in Chicago and Louisville were also affected because of flooding at Michigan suppliers.

Ford said all of its plants were running normally Tuesday.

More than 6 inches of rain fell within a few hours Monday across parts of southeastern Michigan, leaving streets and freeways impassable.

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