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DETROIT-Just three days after it announced a massive restructuring plan that will likely see several of its assembly plants across the US close in the next three years, the world’s largest automaker says it is not letting those problems prevent it from adding on to its research & development facilities in its home state of Michigan.

General Motors said Thursday it will build a new $10 million vehicle rollover testing facility at its Milford Proving Ground in Michigan, the centerpiece of $33 million worth of state-of-the-art crash-testing investments to grow the automaker’s global testingcapability.

GM currently conducts rollover tests offsite at a Detroit-area automotive supplier. The new facility, which will open in late 2006, initially will conduct 120 to 150 tests a year with the capacity for more. Earlier this week, at GM’s annual shareholders meeting, the company announced a plan to reduce its number of US manufacturing jobs by about 25,000 positions. It also said it would move to close several US plants, though the company did not identify how many plants or which ones.

The $10 million rollover facility follows an announced commitment in January to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to make StabiliTrak standard on all non-commercial GM vehicles by the end of the decade.

The new rollover facility, which will be adjacent to an existing crash barrier test facility, will be used to develop rollover-sensing systems for airbags and development of occupant protection systems to reduce the likelihood of ejection in a crash. Initially, five rollover scenarios will be conducted. Others will be added if needed.

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