United Auto Workers walked off the job at General Motors Corp.'s Delta Township plant at 10 a.m. on Thursday after a deadline passed with no deal on a local contract.

Around 2,300 union employees walked off the job at one of GM's own plants in Lansing, Mich., where the automaker rolls out its hot-selling line of crossover utility vehicles, according to General Motors spokesman Dan Flores.

They'll need to figure this all out soon because these are key products in replacing these SUVs that have really fallen into an abyss.

The strike could cripple production at the plant and have serious implications for the Detroit automaker.

According to GM's website, some 3,300 hourly workers were employed at the Delta Township plant at the end of April 2007. The facility makes the Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook crossover vehicles that GM says are among its best-selling models.

For several months, GM and Local 602 leaders have been in talks to reach an agreement on contract details for the plant to go along with the national agreement reached between the automaker and the UAW last September.

We are disappointed that UAW Local 602 have taken strike action at the Lansing Delta Township plant, GM spokesman Dan Flores said. We remain focused on reaching an agreement as soon as possible.

The company has already had to idle assembly lines at about 30 plants because of the 3,650 American Axle workers who struck almost two months ago in a dispute over wages and benefits.

GM also faces another possible strike by a UAW local unit at 10 a.m. ET Friday if the company and local leaders at a Warren, Michigan, transmission plant fail to reach an agreement.

GM shares were down 7 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $19.83 in afternoon New York Stock Exchange trade.