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Alameda County supervisor in Far East to seek new NUMMI plant manufacturer

Fremont plant to close March 31, idling thousands throughout East Bay

Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson met Wednesday with a representative for a car manufacturer in an Asian country about using the New United Motor Manufacturing Plant in Fremont, which is slated to close on April 1.

But Carson, who also chairs the East Bay Economic Development Agency, declined to be more specific about the company or the country because the talks are only preliminary at this point.

Carson said he hopes to have a face-to-face meeting with the company's top management in the next 30 days.

NUMMI was a 25-year-long joint venture between General Motors and Toyota, but GM announced last June that it would withdraw from the partnership and Toyota announced in August that it won't order any more vehicles from the auto plant after March 31.

Last September, a high-ranking delegation of elected officials and business leaders from China visited the NUMMI plant to explore their options at the plant. However, nothing has come from those talks so far.

Carson said his talks Wednesday were with a representative for a company in an Asian country other than China.

On Tuesday, Carson and other Alameda County and East Bay Economic Development Alliance officials sponsored a meeting in Fremont at which local, state and federal officials outlined steps that already are being taken to help NUMMI employees deal with job losses and transition to new careers.

They also talked about strategies to help the region recover from the economic impact of closing NUMMI.

Alameda County officials say the auto plant's closure will impact not only the 4,700 people who work at NUMMI but also more than 20,000 workers employed within the plant's supplier network throughout the Bay Area and California.

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