The Wall Street Journal is reporting that GM will be laying off 1,500 employees with a six week shutdown of its Detroit-Hamtramck plant.
The automaker will shut down Hamtramck from mid-November through the end of the year, and when it resumes operations it will be with a 20 percent cut in production. All told, about 200 workers won’t get their jobs back after the shutdown.
Many saw the writing on the wall. Rumors have swirled that GM was considering cutting some notable models from its vehicle line, including those made at the Detroit plant in question. These vehicles include midsize sedans like the Buick LaCrosse and the Chevy Impala. Both have seen reduced sales of 22 and 32 percent respectively, in line with the general hit passenger vehicles have taken as U.S. consumers trend towards SUV purchases.
While it’s not clear if GM is actually planning to cut these models from its lineup, it wouldn’t surprise anyone as, industry-wide, automakers look to trim their offerings in favor of their most profitable. Earlier this month, Ford announced a major cost cutting initiative where it says it will reallocate about $7 billion from cars toward SUVs and trucks.
According to Reuters, GM has pared back the number of shifts at five of its plants in recent months, and the company says it has no plans to resurrect any of them at this time.