General Motors will transfer 200 employees from Lansing Grand River Assembly to Flint next year, according to The Lansing State Journal. While the article cites market forces as reasons for the move, it’s important to note that this comes at a time when GM is readying the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD and 2020 GMC Sierra HD pickup trucks. The move starts January 14 and will happen in accordance with GM’s national agreement with United Auto Workers, according to GM Lansing’s spokesperson Erin Davis who spoke with the publication.
Consumers moving away from passenger cars to SUVs and crossovers is no secret, and that’s what’s causing GM to shift workers. Lansing Grand River Assembly builds the Chevy Camaro, Cadillac ATS, and Cadillac CTS. This year alone, truck sales are up 21 percent in the second quarter for the automaker.
Take the Camaro. Sales so far this year are down 26 percent to 39,828 units through the first nine months of the year. Sales for 2018’s third quarter were down 16 percent to 14,448 until sold over the three-month period. The same story is of the two Cadillac passenger cars. Unfortunately, they’re all amazing to drive.
While not confirmed, it’s fully expected that the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD and 2020 GMC Sierra HD will be built in Flint as production of the outgoing GM three-quarter and full-ton pickup trucks wind down and the launch of these all-new T1-based trucks begins to commence. The new Silverado HD was teased back in April of this year.
While the move to a new plant will be inconvenient for workers, it’s a much better scenario than facing layoffs or plant closures.