— General Motors accepted final orders on Feb. 4 for the last vans to be manufactured at its Baltimore plant, moving the 70-year-old Broening Highway factory another step closer to its shutdown this year, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Dan Flores, a GM spokesman, said company officials are calculating how many production days will be needed to fill the plant's final orders so they can schedule a closing date for the factory. About 1,100 workers at the plant are waiting for a shutdown date so they can prepare for early retirement, a transfer to another factory, or layoffs.General Motors announced in November that it would close the plant in Southeast Baltimore sometime in 2005. "We definitely do not have an approved build-out date," Flores said, "but we're working our way toward that."Based on past factory shutdowns, experts said production likely will slow as the Baltimore plant fulfills its final vehicle orders and prepares to close.