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GM to Lay Off Hundreds at Sonic, ATS Plants Due to Slow Sales

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 11/12/2014 Karla Sanchez

General Motors announced this morning that it's going to cuts jobs and slow production at two of its Detroit-based assembly plants. The Lake Orion plant, which currently builds the Chevrolet Sonic and the Buick Verano, will see 160 layoffs, while the Lansing Grand River Plant that builds the Cadillac ATS and CTS will see about 350.

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Sales for both the Sonic and Verano slowed in October, prompting the automaker to trim production and staff at the Lake Orion factory. GM will begin laying people off on January 5, and continue to do so in phases. A total 160 jobs will be axed as production at the plant slows, with vehicle output being reduced from 45 cars per hour to 38. This all comes after inventories for both the Sonic and Verano grew in October. As of November 1, GM reported there were 22,200 unsold Sonics, or a 114-day supply. While sales for the Sonic have been generally OK throughout the year, Automotive News reports they could take another downward turn as decreasing gas prices could affect sales of small, fuel-efficient cars. As for the Verano, there were 12,000 unsold units, which translate into a 106-day supply. The plant currently employs 1660 hourly workers and 160 salaried employees. Through October, the facility built about 94,000 Sonics and 45,000 Veranos. 2014 buick verano turbo© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 buick verano turbo

Over at Lansing, 350 employees will be layed off in January, however, GM says it looks to move some of those people to another plant nearby. A production shift will also be cut, leaving the facility with about 1075 production workers on one shift, though GM expects to resume a second shift at the start of production for the next-generation Camaro. Like the cuts at Lake Orion, the lay-offs come after poor sales of the ATS and CTS. On November 1, there was a 151-day supply of ATS models and a 113-day supply of CTS sedans.

Earlier this year, newly appointed Cadillac boss Johan de Nysschen vowed to fix excess production and high inventories, with this being the first move toward that goal. The executive was also adamant about not lowering prices to improve sales. Production at the Lansing Grand River plant was already stopped for three weeks in late August and early September to align supply with weaker-than-expected demand.

Source: Automotive news (Subscription required)

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