General Motors has announced plans to reduce its Chevrolet Cruze assembly plant from two to one shift. The move is creating thousands of layoffs in a move GM says is necessary due to historic consumer shifts away from cars.
GM says the second shift at its Lordstown, Ohio assembly will cease on June 18th. The shift elimination is expected to impact about half of the plant’s 3,000 employees, 2,700 of which are hourly. In an effort to ease the burden, GM is offering buyouts to impacted employees that vary by employee tenure.
This isn’t the first time Lordstown has been impacted by shift cuts. GM eliminated a third shift at the plant back in January 2017. At the time the company blamed shifting consumer demand, though many questioned if the cut wasn’t in part due to the company ramping up production of the Chevrolet Cruze in Mexico.
The Lordstown plant only produces the sedan version of the Chevrolet Cruze. The Cruze plant in Mexico produces both sedan and hatchback variants. In a statement to Automotive News GM states this cut is due to shifting consumer demand and in the interest of long-term stability.
Chevrolet Cruze sales in the U.S. are down 26-percent through March, following the trend of most compact cars as consumers migrate to utility vehicles.