GM to lay off 1,100 at Lansing plant, cut shift

One vehicle made in Lansing is being moved to another factory.

LANSING - General Motors Co. will lay off 1,100 people at its Lansing Delta Township Assembly plant when it cuts the third shift in May.

The plant will experience a shift reduction as it phases out production of the first generation GMC Acadia in May, said Erin Davis, GM's Lansing spokeswoman, in a statement. The new generation is currently made in Spring Hill, Tennessee.

Workers were given a 60-day notice of the layoffs this morning. The plant employs roughly 3,200 hourly workers and 250 salaried workers.

The plant makes the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave. GM chose the plant to make the new generation Traverse this year.

The statement also confirmed that the new generation Buick Enclave will be made at the plant as well. No further information was released on the new Enclave.

"The new Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse enter the market at a time when crossovers have become the most vibrant, dynamic and fast-growing models of the industry," Davis said in the statement.

Bill Reed, president of UAW Local 602, which represents the hourly workers at the plant, said the layoffs were expected.

"This was a major vehicle change," he said. "It was kind of expected this was going to happen. I believe it's going to be for a short time."

Reed said they have been advocating for a third product to replace the Acadia. Analysts predict that the plant could make a Cadillac crossover.

"I know (GM) wants to utilize the plant at full capacity," he said.

GM has invested $583 million in the facility since 2014 to prepare for new vehicle production at the plant.

In January, GM cut the third shift at Lansing Grand River Assembly as car sales declined due to the popularity of trucks and SUVs. Initially, up to as many as 832 people could have been laid off at the plant. Davis said the final number was 500 people.

GM is investing $211 million at the Lansing Grand River plant for new tooling and equipment as well as a 32,000-square-foot expansion of its body shop. The investment is for a future product, which has yet to be announced.

Alexander Alusheff is a reporter at the Lansing State Journal. Contact him at (517) 388-5973 or aalusheff@lsj.com. Follow him on Twitter @alexalusheff.

© 2017 Lansing State Journal


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