After Ford last week announced it would shift away from its Michigan Assembly factory in suburban Detroit the production of two of its compact cars, questions were immediately raised about General Motors small car situation.
Now, General Motors chief executive officer Mary Barra has tamed the storm, claiming the largest US automaker and the third biggest in the world has no intention of relocating small car manufacturing just like Ford, even if there is lagging demand across the US market. “We have some very important small cars” being produced at the Orion Assembly plant in suburban Detroit, such as the Chevrolet Sonic, commented Barra during a ceremonial event. “We have no plans to change that.” The event focused on the start of negotiations with the United Auto Workers on the traditional four-year labor contract, with Barra telling members of the press and union officials the company has lifted the profitability for the models, even as demand for the class has recessed in the wake of cheaper gasoline and growing demand for crossovers, SUVs and pickup trucks.
Ford last week announced its factory producing the Focus and C-Max compact cars will cease manufacturing of the models in 2018, though it didn’t also specify where the cars would be relocated – with plant workers only briefed on the matter with the detail that work on the cars would be relegated to a foreign country. “It’s always concerning to me, though, when any corporation invests outside the United States,” commented UAW President Dennis Williams, who was also present at the even next to Barra, though he declined to comment on Ford’s move on a specific matter.
Via Automotive News