General Motors announced to today that it is scaling back production of its Chevrolet Sonic and Buick Verano subcompact cars as consumer demand in the U.S. drops overall for smaller vehicles.
The company will lay off about 100 workers at its Orion Assembly Plant outside Detroit. The phased layoff will begin in July and conclude by year’s end, said GM spokesman Chris Bonelli.
The move is being made to “better align with the demands of the market,” according to the official statement from GM. The Orion plant has 1,581 hourly employees and 183 salaried workers.
The move comes after the company announced layoffs of 160 workers at Orion last November. Since then, the plant has had several weeks of downtime and plans another such week near the July 4th holiday.
Automotive News reported that Sonic sales fell 29% in the first five months of 2015. Verano sales decreased 16%.
Subcompact car sales fell 7.2% industry-wide.
The Sonic has the highest average transaction price in the subcompact car segment of the market.
Currently, only the Verano and Sonic are produced at Orion. But GM is investing $160 million in the plant in anticipation of production on the Chevy Bolt, an electric car in the prototype stage that GM has just begun testing with the public. Bolt production is expected to start at Orion in 2017.