General Motors Co. will fire as many as 1,500 workers at the end of June at the Ohio factory building the Chevrolet Cruze compact car, undercutting President Donald Trump’s bombast about bringing back auto jobs.
The Lordstown assembly plant will operate on only one shift as part of the cutback, spokeswoman Dayna Hart said in an email. The company will be roughly halving the workforce at the factory, though Hart wrote that it’ll remain open for the foreseeable future.
“Lordstown is among the few remaining builders of small cars in the U.S. and it is our plan to keep it that way,” she said. “GM recently stated our commitment to sedans and the role Cruze plays in that commitment.”
GM’s plans for its Ohio factory are the result of American consumers snubbing cars in favor of crossovers. Cruze sales plunged 26 percent in the first three months of the year to less than 40,000 units and slipped 2.2 percent last year. Automakers have been laying off workers in passenger-car plants as roomier sport utility vehicles have seized record share of industrywide deliveries.
“We’re turning it around,” Trump said Thursday from the White House Rose Garden. “Already, Chrysler is coming back with auto plants. Many companies are now in Michigan, Ohio, different places, Pennsylvania. They’re building beautiful, brand new auto plants. Nobody thought they’d ever see that happen.”
Not quite. And although the love affair is with SUVs total sales have peaked.
Mike "Mish' Shedlock