Gen­eral Mo­tors re­fuses to quit small car mar­ket

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Business -

Gen­eral Mo­tors con­firmed Sun­day its plans to elim­i­nate a shift at an Ohio plant, idling some 1,500 em­ploy­ees as de­mand for com­pact cars dips. The down­siz­ing of the work­force in Lord­stown, Ohio - where GM pro­duces the Chevro­let Cruze - was re­lated to “his­toric” mar­ket changes that spelled lower de­mand for com­pact cars, a com­pany spokes­woman told Agence FrancePresse (AFP).

“As we look at the mar­ket for com­pact cars in 2018 and be­yond, we be­lieve a more sta­ble op­er­at­ing ap­proach to match mar­ket de­mand is a one-shift sched­ule,” said spokes­woman Dayna Hart, adding the sec­ond shift will be sus­pended to­ward the end of 2018’s sec­ond quar­ter. She em­pha­sized the com­pany did not plan to aban­don the pas­sen­ger car mar­ket com­pletely.

“The car mar­ket re­mains im­por­tant to GM and Chevro­let since it rep­re­sents 36 per­cent of in­dus­try re­tail sales. The small car seg­ment also brings new and con­quest cus­tomers to Chevro­let,” Hart said. The lay­offs, which the au­tomaker first an­nounced Fri­day, ap­pear to un­der­cut the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s prom­ises to bring auto jobs back to the re­gion, along with neigh­bor­ing west­ern Penn­syl­va­nia. But Hart said across the U.S. in­dus­try, the small car mar­ket has been in steady de­cline since 2014, a trend driven by lower fuel prices and an im­prov­ing econ­omy. Last year, GM sold 150,000 Chevy Cruze cars in the U.S., all pro­duced at Lord­stown. Since the start of 2018, sales of the ve­hi­cle have dropped 28 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to auto con­sul­tancy and data firm Au­to­data.

Mean­while, GM’s com­peti­tors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler, have also an­nounced plans to cut back on pas­sen­ger car pro­duc­tion in the U.S.

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