General Motors Co. (IW 500/3) will cut production and dismiss 1,100 workers at a plant in Michigan as it shifts production of a sport utility vehicle model to another factory in Tennessee.
The Lansing Delta Township plant will cease output of GMC Acadia SUVs on May 12, Tom Wickham, a GM spokesman, said.
The largest U.S. automaker said in the second quarter of last year that its factory in Spring Hill, Tennessee, would begin building the revamped Acadia and add about 800 new jobs.
GM had the highest inventory among major automakers as of the beginning of February, with 107 days supply of cars and light trucks, according to Automotive News Data Center.
The Detroit-based company has forecast building up a higher stock of vehicles early this year ahead of introducing redesigned SUV models including the GMC Acadia and Terrain, Chevrolet Traverse and Equinox, and the Buick Enclave.
Many of the staff who’ll be affected by the production shift from the Lansing plant are temporary employees, said Bill Reed, president of United Auto Workers Local 602, which represents the plant’s workers. He said he’s hopeful GM will add a new model to the plant’s assembly line that would allow some of the laid off workers to eventually be called back.
“They say the layoffs are permanent, but I don’t think it will be long before they get us full capacity,” he said in a phone interview. “We’re profitable and every indication is that we will get another product.”
GM said in December it would permanently cut about 3,300 employees at three car plants and temporarily lay off employees across five of its U.S. car factories. With cheap gasoline spurring demand for more fuel efficient SUVs and pickups, automakers have dialed back car output to address swelling inventory.
By Gabrielle Coppola and David Welch