General Motors Co. (IW 500/3) said it will lay off 2,000 workers at two plants in Ohio and Michigan as U.S. sales of its Chevrolet Camaro sports car and Chevy Cruze compact have slumped this year.
The automaker said it’s eliminating the third shift at a factory in Lansing, Mich. that makes the Camaro and another in Lordstown, Ohio, where GM builds the Cruze.
GM is treating the layoffs as permanent, but some workers may be able to transfer to openings at other plants, spokesman Tom Wickham said in a phone interview.
Consumers in the U.S. have been buying more sport utility vehicles, shunning small cars like the Cruze.
Sales of the car fell 20% this year through October as the Detroit-based automaker has sold fewer to rental fleets.
Camaro sales fell 9% as sports cars have become less popular. The Lansing plant that builds the Camaro also makes the Cadillac ATS and CTS sedans, but those assembly lines will be minimally affected.
GM also said it will invest $900 million in three plants, including the Lansing factory. That investment will not add any new jobs, Wickham said.
By David Welch