A General Motors plant in Lordstown, Ohio is cutting several hundred jobs. Plant leaders informed workers the facility will be eliminating one of two shifts starting in mid-June. The cuts will eliminate up to half of the current jobs at the plant
The exact number of jobs being eliminated will not be known for a few weeks. The plant employs just under 3,000 workers. General Motors says up to 1,500 workers could be impacted.
The wind down is scheduled for June 18. Senior workers will be offered a buyout package of up to $60,000 to try to reduce the need for involuntary layoffs. Some of the affected employees will be able to fill openings at other GM plants.
Slower demand for cars, with an especially dramatic drop in demand for sedans in the United States. prompted the cuts. The affected plant only builds the sedan version of the Chevy Cruze. This year, car sales are down 13.2 percent. For the Chevy Cruze, sales have fallen 28 percent year-over-year and 32 percent from just four years ago.
The factory was working around the clock as recently as 2016. GM eliminated the third shift at the plant in January 2017. The remaining two shifts were still more than what was needed to fill demand.
In an emailed statement, GM said, “As the market continued to undergo historic changes, it required us to reduce production rates and take numerous down weeks to match production with lower customer demand for compact cars. As we look at the market for compact cars in 2018 and beyond, we believe a more stable operating approach to match market demand is a one-shift schedule.”
GM has started building a hatchback version of the Cruze at a plant in Mexico. The hatchback accounts for less than 20 percent of its U.S. sales of the Cruze.