General Motors Scaling Back Sonic Production, Moving 500 Workers
General Motors will lay off around 500 workers and eliminate one shift at its Orion Assembly due to sagging demand for small cars, the automaker announced Friday. Those workers may be sent to a nearby plant.
According to a statement from a GM spokesman, the automaker will “adjust plant production capacity to align with market demand” and eliminate one shift that builds the Sonic. Demand for the Sonic has largely remained flat since the subcompact’s introduction in 2011.
Last year General Motors sold 93,518 examples of the Sonic, but is on pace to sell fewer this year. So far this year, Chevrolet has reported sales of just over 50,000 through the first nine months, which is a 35-percent drop over last year.
Many workers at the Orion Assembly could be shifted to Detroit-Hamtramck, according to the automaker. GM announced Thursday that it would be adding an additional shift to build more Chevrolet Volts, Malibus, Impalas and Cadillac CT6 models next year. Orion Assembly and Detroit-Hamtramck are located roughly one hour apart from each other.
Orion Assembly will build the Chevrolet Bolt to sell later next year. GM said it invested $405 million in the plant to prepare for the Bolt and another new vehicle to be named later. According to Automotive News, that vehicle could likely be a small Cadillac crossover.