General Motors employees at the Lordstown, Ohio assembly plant fear another round of layoffs are inbound as the UAW announced production at the facility will scale back in mid-July.
GM informed UAW local 1714 President Robert Morales the automaker plans for a shift in production due to market demand, according to local new affiliate WFMJ. The Lordstown plant is home to the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze, which has been a victim of climbing crossover market share in the U.S.
Asked if Lordstown will soon be home to any other product, specifically to capitalize on crossover sales, CNBC analyst Phil LeBeau was doubtful.
“For Lordstown to retool and to become a plant that produces a truck or SUV that would mean a big investment from General Motors, as well as doing it many months in advance and by the time that you would get that production up and running you would have to make sure that you’re fairly confident that the market would be as strong as it is right now when it comes to trucks and SUVs,” said LeBeau.
Lordstown has already been hit hard by lagging Cruze sales. GM cut the third shift at the plant in January, which led to 1,200 layoffs. Local suppliers also felt the ripple effects as layoffs occurred at Lordstown Seating Systems and Comprehensive Logistics.
The layoffs may be a part of GM’s plans to implement 10 weeks of downtime across a handful of U.S. factories. Lordstown was one of the assembly plants listed as a potential candidate for idling.