US: GM to lay off more workers working on passenger cars image

After announcing it decided to cut a production shift and 350 hourly workers from its Lansing Grand River plant that handles Cadillac ATS and CTS production, the automaker has announced plans to lay off 160 more at its Orion Assembly facility.

While auto sales have been the bright spot of the recovering US economy, the auto business is not just rosy flowers: while sales advance at a blistering pace overall, some categories actually registered decreases. That’s because the low gas prices that lifted SUV, crossover and pickup truck deliveries led to a decline in demand for sedans and other small cars. The resulting trend, coupled with high inventories, made GM drop 350 workers that used to build Cadillac’s ATS and CTS models – though at least a part of them might be called back when the company starts making at the plant the next generation Chevrolet Camaro.

The other 160 employees that were laid off were involved with the production of the Buick Verano and Chevy Sonic in Orion. Sales of the latter dropped 23.2% last month and are only 8.8% through the first ten months of the year. The Buick Verano is even worse – it only fell 7.3% in October, but year-to-date deliveries are down 6.2% from the same period of 2013.