US: GM cutting shift at Michigan plant handling production of small car image

General Motors is heading into contract negotiations with the UAW union and has just announced its Detroit-Hamtramck plant would receive an additional shift of 1,200 workers.

But the largest US automaker and the third biggest in the world is also delivering a bad news to the US employees – around 500 workers at the assembly plant where the Chevrolet Sonic is manufactured would be laid off – as smaller passenger cars succumb to the all mighty sales growth of SUV, crossover and pickup trucks. GM has announced its Orion Township assembly plant in suburban Detroit will move to “adjust plant production capacity to align with market demand” by dropping one shift. The company added that most of its laid off workforce would be transferred to other operations, including the Detroit-Hamtramck factory that on Thursday was announced to add 1,200 workers early next year for a second shift. “We are confident we will be able to make transfer offers to Detroit-Hamtramck or other GM locations for the vast majority of those who are affected by the shift reduction,” commented the carmaker.

The decision has been triggered by rising inventory of the Sonic and its peer that also gets built at Orion – the Buick Verano – even as production had been lowered several times over the past months. The Sonic registered a massive, 35 percent drop in sales after the first nine months while the Buick Verano receded 27 percent during the same period. GM has already scheduled the production of two new models at Orion in the coming years, so the second shift could be added back in the future.

Via Automotive News