US: GM getting ready to lower production at Michigan passenger car factory image

General Motors, the largest SU automaker and the third biggest in the world, has announced recently it would fire one hundred workers and decrease the production output at its Orion Assembly small-car plant in suburban Detroit as the segment’s sales slowed.

The Orion Assembly was also hit with another round of layoffs last year in November, when the company had to let go another 160 employees because of the troubled fortunes of passenger cars in recent months. US buyers have recently started to favor mostly sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks instead of passenger cars, especially when it comes to small models – as the sales of the former have been encouraged by the relatively low gasoline prices. The Orion Assembly small-car factory currently builds the Chevrolet Sonic and Buick Verano compact cars. The former’s deliveries through May dropped 28.5 percent from the same period last year and the Verano sales have also fallen 16 percent over the same interval.

According to a GM spokesperson, the largest US automaker is moving ahead with its strategy to balance supply with demand, with numerous GM executives adamant about not making the same error of building more vehicles than existing deliveries – a leading cause to the 2009 bankruptcy restructuring procedure. The assembly facility has around 1,580 hourly workers and 180 salaried positions, with the entire batch of 260 workers being laid off leaving the company by the end of the year. The assembly quota would also be lowered, though it is yet unknown by how many cars – reports cited a production cut of around 20 percent.