GM to eliminate shift at small-car plant in MI.

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wemay

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http://www.autonews.com/article/20151023...ant-in-michigan

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October 23, 2015 - 1:45 am ET
DETROIT -- General Motors will lay off about 500 workers at the assembly plant where the Chevrolet Sonic is built, the latest symptom of sagging demand for small cars as consumers buy more crossovers and SUVs.

GM confirmed in a statement that its Orion Township assembly plant in suburban Detroit will “adjust plant production capacity to align with market demand” by reducing to one shift, from two.

GM said most laid-off employees should be able to transfer to other GM operations, including the Detroit-Hamtramck plant, which GM said on Thursday would add some 1,200 workers for a second shift to start early next year.

“We are confident we will be able to make transfer offers to Detroit-Hamtramck or other GM locations for the vast majority of those who are affected by the shift reduction,” the company said.

GM officials were scheduled to inform Orion workers of the layoffs early today after second shift, two people with knowledge of the matter said. Union officials have informally told some workers in recent days about the pending shift elimination, one of the sources said.

The move comes amid rising dealer inventory of the Sonic and Buick Verano, the other vehicle built at Orion, despite several production cuts over the past year. GM has idled the plant for several weeks this year and in June cut the hourly production rate 21 percent, to 26 cars per hour.

But inventories continue to creep higher as sales of both cars stay cold. As of Oct. 1, there was a 116-day supply of Sonics on dealership lots or en route to stores, up from 98 days a month earlier, according to the Automotive News Data Center. Verano stocks were at 100 days, up from 81.

Chevy sold 50,535 Sonics this year through September in the U.S., a 35 percent drop from a year earlier. That was the steepest decline among the top seven nameplates in the subcompact segment, which fell 4.9 percent

Verano sales dropped 27 percent in the period, to 25,002, also a far bigger decline than the rest of the compact car market, which rose 1.6 percent over that span.

It’s unclear whether GM would add back a second shift at Orion when at least two new vehicles begin production there in coming years.

The Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle will be made at Orion and go on sale in late 2016, GM officials have said. Another, unidentified vehicle is scheduled to start production there by 2018. Industry sources believe that will be a small Cadillac crossover.

GM has signaled bigger plans for Orion. It has invested $962 million in the plant since 2010, including $405 million over the last year.

GM has made the Sonic at Orion since 2011, when the company became the only automaker to build a subcompact vehicle in the U.S. under a special labor deal with the UAW. The pact allows GM to use a higher percentage of lower-wage Tier 2 workers at Orion, along with workers from in-house suppliers who make even less than the Tier 2 employees. Higher production costs in the U.S. generally make it tougher for automakers to turn a profit on smaller vehicles.

In September, GM CEO Mary Barra said the automaker does not plan to follow Ford Motor Co.’s decision to move small-car production in response to weakening sales. Ford said in July that it would stop building the Focus and C-Max cars at its Michigan Assembly plant near Detroit in 2018.

"We have some very important small cars" built at the Orion, Barra said. "We have no plans to change that."
 
Originally Posted By: Smokescreen
GM really has never made a good small car. They have always outsourced the task to Toyota, Daewoo, Suzuki etc.


Sonic and Cruze are decent designs however domestic GM had to import the engineering to finally get a decent car in the smaller sizes.
 
I rather like the Sonic. Especially in RS trim, but that's just a niche vehicle.
 
It's funny when someone makes 8-15 year investment based on todays gas price
smile.gif
People will never learn..
 
Corvair-Vega-Monza-Cavalier-Nova-Spectrum-Prizm-Cobalt-Cruze

Chevette-Sprint-Metro-Aveo-Sonic

Spark-

Some real winners there...
 
Originally Posted By: NHGUY
Corvair-Vega-Monza-Cavalier-Nova-Spectrum-Prizm-Cobalt-Cruze

Chevette-Sprint-Metro-Aveo-Sonic

Spark-

Some real winners there...


is that tongue in cheek?
 
All told, I think that the Sonic is the best subcompact that GM's ever built...but it's in need of a redesign if it's going to sell in numbers to consumers and not rental fleets.

I read an article about the Korean design and it said that GM had to add something like 14-16" to the back before they'd approve the design as the sedan originally had almost no trunk. To me, that isn't the best way to bring a car to market if you're doing fixes like that...it's almost like a new GM-style product with old GM thinking.
 
Originally Posted By: Vuflanovsky
All told, I think that the Sonic is the best subcompact that GM's ever built...but it's in need of a redesign if it's going to sell in numbers to consumers and not rental fleets.

I read an article about the Korean design and it said that GM had to add something like 14-16" to the back before they'd approve the design as the sedan originally had almost no trunk. To me, that isn't the best way to bring a car to market if you're doing fixes like that...it's almost like a new GM-style product with old GM thinking.
How's the ignition switch?
 
Originally Posted By: Vuflanovsky
All told, I think that the Sonic is the best subcompact that GM's ever built...but it's in need of a redesign if it's going to sell in numbers to consumers and not rental fleets.



The Sonic is a good little subcompact, the next generation is based on the Opel Adam, if GM were smart they would just bring the Opel version here and sell it as an Opel Adam by Chevrolet, few changes as Opel gets how to detail and design a subcompact.
 
And, at the same time, renovations and expansion at the GM plant in Arlington; running balls to the wall building full-size SUV's. How soon people forget...
 
Originally Posted By: DBMaster
And, at the same time, renovations and expansion at the GM plant in Arlington; running balls to the wall building full-size SUV's. How soon people forget...


Indeed, the attention span of the typical Murican is about
2 seconds. Gnats are probably better off.
 
Originally Posted By: GiveMeAVowel
Originally Posted By: Vuflanovsky
All told, I think that the Sonic is the best subcompact that GM's ever built...but it's in need of a redesign if it's going to sell in numbers to consumers and not rental fleets.



The Sonic is a good little subcompact, the next generation is based on the Opel Adam, if GM were smart they would just bring the Opel version here and sell it as an Opel Adam by Chevrolet, few changes as Opel gets how to detail and design a subcompact.


Opel Adam

opel-adam-s-292805-970x647-c.jpg
 
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