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GM to lay off 1,300 Michigan workers amid vehicle production cuts

GM to lay off 1,300 Michigan workers amid vehicle production cuts Photo: GM to Lay Off 1,300 Michigan workers amid vehicle production cuts (GettyImages)

General Motors is set to lay off 1,314 employees at two Michigan factories due to changes in production plans for certain vehicles. These layoffs are connected to the company's shift towards electric vehicle manufacturing, according to CNBC.

GM's Orion Assembly plant in Orion Township will see 945 job cuts starting January 1, following the company's decision to delay production of two all-electric pickups, the Chevrolet Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV, by a year. This delay resulted in idling the factory and transferring around 1,000 workers to other GM facilities in the state. The plant is expected to restart in late 2025 for EV truck production.

Additionally, 369 workers at Lansing Grand River Assembly/Stamping will be laid off due to the end of Chevrolet Camaro production. GM anticipates offering job opportunities to all affected employees, per the UAW-GM National Agreement.

The layoffs at Grand River are scheduled to start on January 2 and continue through March, following the company's announcement regarding the end of these vehicle models.

EV market growth

The electric car sector, one of the most dynamic areas in clean energy, has witnessed substantial growth in recent years, with sales skyrocketing and improvements in range, model diversity, and performance.

Electric vehicles are estimated to constitute nearly 20% of new car sales in 2023. As a crucial technology for decarbonizing road transport, contributing to about one-sixth of global emissions, electric vehicles have seen a market surge due to ambitious policies. The sustained growth in EV sales aligns with the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario.

GM to lay off 1,300 Michigan workers amid vehicle production cutsElectric car sales 2016-2023 (Photo: International Energy Agency)

However, this trend has yet to be global, with slow sales in developing and emerging countries attributed to higher costs and insufficient charging infrastructure, despite significant growth in regions like China, parts of Europe, and some U.S. states.

EV-focused transition

The decision to end production of specific models like the Chevrolet Bolt and Camaro is part of the company's broader transition to focus on electric vehicle manufacturing.

This shift reflects the automotive industry's evolving landscape, with increasing emphasis on sustainable and electric transportation solutions. The retooling of the Orion plant for electric truck production signifies GM's commitment to adapting to these industry changes.