GM Adds Shift at Crossover Plant, Cuts Production at Truck Plant
DETROIT (AP) -- General Motors Corp. will add a third shift and about 500 temporary workers at its plant near Lansing where it builds crossover vehicles, but it also is cutting jobs and pickup truck production at a plant in Pontiac.
GM said the Pontiac downsizing is due to a slumping pickup market nationwide, and the increase at the Delta Township plant near Lansing is due to rising demand for the Buick Enclave, Saturn Outlook and GMC Acadia crossover vehicles.
About 500 temporary workers laid off earlier in the summer likely will get a chance to return to the Delta Township plant when the third shift is added Sept. 4, but the details must be worked out with the United Auto Workers, GM spokesman Tom Wickham said Tuesday.
The Delta Township plant, which now employs about 2,800 hourly workers, makes the eight-passenger crossover vehicles which came out in April. Sales of all three took off in June, GM said, with dealer orders for the Buick seven times more than the plant could produce on two shifts.
"There are places in the country that dealers haven't even seen one yet," said Pete Nico, GM's vehicle line director for the crossovers. "The trucks are pulling in, and the customers are walking away with them. When dealers do see a shipment arrive, they don't have anything to leave on their lots."
Sales of crossovers, which have sport utility vehicle attributes but are built on more fuel efficient car underpinnings, are growing rapidly as the market shifts away from gas-guzzling truck-based vehicles.
The Delta Township plant, which opened last year, can make just over 44 vehicles per hour, GM said.
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