Thanks to increased demand for SUVs

By Reuters
March 15, 2017

General Motors plans next year to rehire 500 Michigan assembly plant workers who are to be laid off in May, citing increased demand for larger vehicles, the company said on Wednesday.

GM said last week it planned to lay off 1,100 workers in May at its Lansing Delta Township assembly plant in Michigan. The company is moving production of the GMC Acadia mid-size SUV to Spring Hill, Tennessee, from the factory, which will build just two models, the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave SUVs.

The company said that when it begins full production of the new versions of the two models in 2018, it would “bring back approximately 500 jobs to give the company flexibility to meet market demand.”

GM also said it would add 220 jobs at a plant in Romulus, Michigan, that is building 10-speed automatic transmissions, and it would retain 180 jobs by shifting Lansing workers to a Flint assembly plant to support pickup truck production.

The news comes as U.S. President Donald Trump is set to visit Michigan later on Wednesday to announce that his administration will reopen a review of fuel efficiency standards, a move that could help automakers sell more of their larger models. GM did not credit Trump with the decision to add jobs.

“We haven’t fundamentally changed any of our plans, but we continue to look for ways to improve our operations and find ways to help the country, grow jobs and support economic growth,” spokesman Pat Morrissey said.

He said Trump’s visit “gave us a positive venue to share good news for the state of Michigan – and specifically for our plants and people in Flint, Romulus and Lansing.”

The Detroit automaker in recent months has announced other U.S. job cuts and new investments. GM said in January it would invest another $1 billion in its U.S. factories.

Trump has urged GM and other automakers to build more cars in the United States as part of his pledge to boost the nation’s manufacturing jobs and discourage the industry from investing in Mexico.

GM said in November it would cut about 2,000 jobs when it ended the third shift at its Lordstown, Ohio, and Lansing Grand River plants in January. In December, it said it planned to cancel the second shift and cut nearly 1,300 jobs from its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant in March.

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