The automotive industry has spoken and General Motors has responded. GM announced plans to lay off 100 employees from their Orion plant, where production of the Buick Verano and Chevrolet Sonic are maintained. The company attributed the move to lay off those 100 workers to a reduction in demand for subcompact cars. In the automotive world, subcompact car sales have dropped over 7% in recent months, which GM says has had a crippling impact on keeping this particular plant solvent throughout the process of rebuilding what the company lost during the recession, and over the course of the last year with endless recalls.
GM said of the Orion Assembly plant that the company will be working to, “adjust plant production to better align with market demand.” Sales for the Chevy Sonic have dropped 29% and for the Verano they have fallen over 16%. Both figures reflect what experts say is a shift in the automotive world, as the cost of fuel continues to maintain an affordable level. However, the fuel questions really have brought on a lot of questions in terms of determining where people stand with their vehicles.
Chris Bonelli who is a spokesperson for the GM Assembly plant in Orion pointed out that, “A phase layoff of approximately 100 employees will begin in July 2015 and conclude by year end.” At this point though it’s unclear what changes are being made with regard to production. Bonelli declined to comment on what the production for the Sonic and Verano might look like in the coming months and years, and kept his comments regarding the future of the plant as a whole silent. Interestingly though, this has raised a lot of questions about the future of the plant as a whole, since not many people close to the Orion Assembly plant can feel very good about 100 workers being laid off.
The news came via internal memo on Friday afternoon, and will give employees of the plant the weekend to soak in the news and look at their potential prospects moving forward. As a whole, GM’s car sales sank 15% for the month of May, which was a blow to GM as they continue to try and work back from the massive recalls that have filled headlines and amassed a ton of coverage in the mainstream media. At this point, it’s unclear where GM is going with this, but one thing that is certain, is that there is a serious move taking place away from small cars to larger, less efficient cars, which seems to be a good indicator for confidence in the automotive world.