The text of Rep. Slaughter’s letter to Mr. Wagoner follows:
February 27, 2009
G. Richard Wagoner Jr.
Chairman and CEO
General Motors Corporation
300 Renaissance Center
Detroit, MI 48265
Dear Mr. Wagoner,
As you know, the Greater Rochester New York region is home to not only GM’s preeminent hydrogen fuel cell research and development facility in Honeoye Falls, but is also home to Delphi Automotive’s largest fuel cell research and development center. In light of GM’s commitment to achieve long term stability, and in respect to recent reports that GM may reclaim Delphi facilities, I seek written commitments that GM will establish its future fuel cell manufacturing operations in Rochester, NY as well.
Manufacturing fuel cells in Rochester makes good business sense beyond the obvious advantages of locating fuel cell commercial production in proximity to GM’s fuel cell research hub. By committing to fuel cell manufacturing in Rochester, GM can apply for the $25 billion loan fund Congress established last fall for U.S. auto manufacturers to re-tool and facilitate production of new fuel efficient and alternative fuel vehicles in the United States. Additionally, I have already secured millions in federal funding to accelerate Delphi’s flex-fuel fuel cell development through a university partnership with the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).
With this support, Delphi’s Rochester-developed fuel cell will be ready for mass production by as early as 2012. Under Delphi’s contract with the United Auto Workers (UAW), production of this technology will be located in Rochester.
Whether GM reclaims Delphi’s Rochester facility or creates a new facility, in the coming years Rochester will boast a highly trained workforce engaged in fuel cell production.
Between our skilled workforce, our leading research and technical universities, our economic incentives, and our quality of life, the Greater Rochester Area is a leader in fuel cell development, and will be on the cutting edge of this technology for years to come. However, it is critical that we not only develop this technology, but we manufacture it as well. I understand that even prior to the recession GM was restructuring in order to achieve long-term competitiveness and viability by accelerating its plans to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles. Federal support now
will provide short term aid and liquidity during the recession, but continuing to establish a lading fuel cell research and manufacturing bas in the Rochester area will help provide it long term viability.
Therefore, I request that as GM develops its restructuring plan it commits to establishing its forthcoming fuel cell manufacturing operations in Rochester. I pledge to work with you and the appropriate economic development officials in the State of New York to make this a reality. I agree that the failure of the U.S. auto industry would be a disaster for the nation’s economy. We need to make the success of the U.S. auto industry a success for the U.S. economy and U.S. workers.
Thank you in advance for consideration of my request and I look forward to your response.
Louise M. Slaughter
Member of Congress
Governor David Patterson
Dan Maloney, UAW Local 1097
Dennis Mullen, NYS Empire State Development Corp.
Mark Peterson, Greater Rochester Enterprise