DETROIT -- General Motors told state officials Monday that it plans to lay off nearly 1,300 workers in March as it eliminates one of two production shifts at a car plant in Detroit.
They are on top of about 2,000 jobs being cut next month to reduce bloated inventories. GM said earlier Monday that it also is halting assembly lines at four plants for several weeks in January in response to lower demand for the cars they build.
GM said it would begin layoffs at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly on March 6. About half of the affected workers are temporary employees, it said in a letter sent Monday to comply with federal mass-layoff requirements. The plant builds the Chevrolet Volt and Impala, Cadillac CT6 and Buick LaCrosse.
“It is possible that placement opportunities in other local GM plants may be available for most, if not all, of the affected GM employees,” the plant’s personnel director, Jeremy Vida, wrote.
Automotive News reported Dec. 12 that GM’s inventories had surged 28 percent between Aug. 1 and Dec. 1 to the highest level in nearly nine years and that more production cuts might be needed. GM entered this month with a 111-day supply of the CT6, which went into production in February, and 168-day supply of the LaCrosse, which was redesigned earlier this year.
The Detroit-Hamtramck plant built nearly 170,000 vehicles this year through November, more than double its output in all of 2015.
Before cutting the second shift, GM plans to stop work at the plant for three weeks in January. It also is scheduling three weeks of downtime at Fairfax Assembly in Kansas City, Kan., two weeks at the Lansing Grand River plant in Michigan and one week in Lordstown, Ohio, and Bowling Green, Ky.
In November, GM announced the layoff of about 2,000 workers with the suspension of third shifts at the Lordstown and Lansing Grand River plants, also in January.
The Lordstown plant builds the compact Chevy Cruze, and the Lansing plant manufactures the Chevy Camaro and Cadillac ATS and CTS. GM had at least four months’ worth of inventory of all four models as of Dec. 1.
GM confirmed the shutdowns after sources at the UAW said the five plants would halt production.
“GM adjusts its manufacturing plants’ production schedules to meet market demand as part of the normal course of business,” a spokesman, Tom Wickham, said in an email.
Overall, GM had an 86-day supply of new vehicles in the U.S. on Dec. 1, up from 84 days on Nov. 1 and 70 days a year earlier, according to the Automotive News Data Center.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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