The possibility that the GM Allison Transmission Division plant in Indianapolis might be closed or sold was the subject of a recent speculative article in the Indianapolis Star.
The Allison plant in Indianapolis is the source of the Allison 3000 and 4000 series of automatic transmissions that have been crucial to the growth of the diesel pusher motorhome sector, which now accounts for around 40% of all Class A motorhome sales.
The Star article suggests the Allison plant in Indianapolis could be closed because it is relatively old, or sold by its parent, General Motors Corp., which needs to raise cash to fund its currently under-funded employee pension plans.
A closure of the Indianapolis plant would not necessarily mean the end of automatic transmissions for diesel motorhomes because Allison, a unit of the GM Powertrain Division since February, completed a new factory near Baltimore a few years ago. Currently, the Baltimore plant builds the transmissions that are most in demand, including the 1000 and 2000 series for the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups, according to the Star.
Decisions about whether GM will spin-off Allison, and whether the Indianapolis plant might be closed or sold, could be made in about six weeks when Allison’s new business plan is expected to be completed. The plan is expected to forecast demand for transmissions beyond the middle of this decade.
Also, the contract between GM and the United Auto Workers currently is scheduled to expire on Sept. 14, so no decisions about the sale or closure of U.S. plants can be made until then, according to the article.