GM laying off 600 at Michigan SUV plant – USA TODAY
LANSING, Mich. — General Motors’ Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant will lay off 600 workers as it is shut down for a month starting this week to prepare for the launch of the new Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse crossovers.
The plant closes after second shift on Friday to phase out production of the GMC Acadia. When it resumes on June 12, the third shift will be eliminated..
Back in March, when the cuts were first announced, GM believed it might have to lay off as many as 1,100 at the plant.
“At this point, we anticipate approximately half the number of people reported in the (layoff) notice to be impacted by the shift reduction,” said Erin Davis, GM’s Lansing spokeswoman.
Of the roughly 600 who will be laid off, 500 could be brought back in the first quarter of 2018, Davis said, when production for the Enclave and Traverse is expected to be in full swing.
“We’re advocating for additional product at the plant,” said Bill Reed, president of UAW Local 602.
A third vehicle would bring back the third shift, he said.
“Right now, we’re focused on making sure we have a successful launch,” he said.
GM announced that the Delta Township plant would produce the new generation Traverse in January. It confirmed the new generation Enclave would be made at the plant in March, the same day the layoffs were announced. The company invested $583 million in new tooling, equipment and an expansion at the plant for the two SUVs.
The Enclave was formally unveiled last month at the New York Auto Show. It will be powered by a 3.6-liter V-6 engine with 302 horsepower, an improvement over the 288 horsepower in the previous model. It will also have a nine-speed automatic transmission instead of a six-speed transmission. The seven-passenger SUV weighs 4,358 pounds, nearly 600 pounds lighter than the previous model.
With front-wheel drive, it will get 17 miles per gallon in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. With all-wheel drive, it will get 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. The first-generation Enclave gets 15 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway.
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