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Canadian GM parts supplier closes doors; 2,000 jobs lost

by Paul Rachwal

As of Tuesday, 2,000 jobs were lost at Vaughan, ON-based Progressive Moulded Products Ltd. that supplied GM with plastic instrument panels and consoles. The company operates 11 plants in Concord and Rexdale, all of which closed over the past two days. The 41-year-old supplier cited heavy debts and falling demand from main clients, chief among them a hurting General Motors.

Progressive owes more than half a billion dollars, for which it received court protection two weeks ago, as per a Toronto Star report. The court papers reveal Progressive accumulated debt to fund new projects while material costs soared and customers demanded lower prices. The high gas prices and downturn in economy that resulted in sales slumps for vehicles were the nail in the coffin for the plastic parts supplier.

Progressive also closed its two plants in Missouri and Texas, effectively eliminating around 300 jobs. Earlier, the company laid off 120 employees.

At the start of this week, Polywheels Manufacturing closed its Oakville, ON plant, which cost 250 jobs, and was also linked to GM's slowing sales, particularly SUVs.