GM had previously brought the first and second shift back online at Spring Hil Assembly following the COVID-19 shutdown and said it would examine current market conditions in deciding when to bring the third shift back as well. However this week the automaker said it would cut the third shift at Spring Hill indefinitely due to the current economic situation.
“This adjustment allows the plant to maintain stable production, protect the value of our brands in any sales environment, and to provide the smallest impact to plant employment going forward,” GM spokeswoman Katy Teer said, as quoted by The Detroit Free Press.
The GM Spring Hill facility produces the GMC Acadia, Cadillac XT5 and Cadillac XT6 crossovers. The complex also houses three engine lines, which produce a wide variety of GM engines, including the 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 and 6.2L L87 V8. It employs 3,700 people in total, but with these recent job cuts, will employ just over 3,000 hourly workers.
GM said earlier this year that it intended to get its plants back up and running at max capacity as soon as possible, but also said that it would align output with current market conditions. As many consumers are either still under lockdown measures or out of a job due to the pandemic, GM and other automakers will be cautious not to flood the market with product early and end up with too many days worth of inventory later in the year.
“Ideally, in a perfect world, by around June 15th, all of our facilities would be operating at their original capacity,” Philip Kienle, GM’s vice president of North American manufacturing, said in late May. “But, again, I just give the caveat: market demand. We’re not going to override market demand.”
It is believed that around 90% of GM employees are now back at work following the COVID-19 shutdown.